Kirstyn is a tax credit finance and commercial real estate attorney with experience representing investors, developers and lenders on tax credit transactions, including federal and state historic tax credits, new markets tax credits, and renewable energy tax credits. Kirstyn’s specialties include community development and project financing, and over the years she has led her clients through multimillion-dollar transactions in connection with multifamily, commercial, retail and mixed-use real estate projects. Kirstyn’s practice also extends to the solar energy arena, where she has significant experience working with lenders and investors in connection with project and construction financing.
In addition, Kirstyn has broad commercial real estate and commercial finance experience that includes representing clients on financing, acquisition/disposition, and leasing matters. She also utilizes her tax credit and project finance expertise as a member of the McDonald Hopkins Public Law team.
Kirstyn’s practice is supported by her past industry experience with InSite Capital, which served as the tax credit investing and community development lending arm of Chemical Bank (now Huntington National Bank). In that role, she was responsible for asset management and financial analysis of the company’s community development tax credit and loan portfolio.
She also leverages her work experience and personal passion for historic preservation and community development as Vice President of the Historic Gateway Neighborhood Corporation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting the continued re-development of the unique, historic Gateway District in downtown Cleveland into a commercial, entertainment and residential neighborhood.
Kirstyn earned a J.D., magna cum laude, from Western Michigan University Cooley Law School and a B.B.A., magna cum laude, in Human Resource Management and Marketing from Grand Valley State University. She is licensed to practice law in Michigan and Ohio.
Representative Cases & Matters
- Represented historic tax credit investor for the rehabilitation of a long-abandoned historic apartment building in Detroit, creating market-rate and affordable residential units.
- Represented financial institution in a $25 million dollar construction and mini-permanent loan for construction of a multifamily project in Michigan.
- Represented developer in a $46 million transaction for renovation of existing historic buildings into multifamily housing and a hotel. The project involved a highly complex capital stack, including construction loans, PACE financing, Ohio state historic tax credits, federal historic tax credits, and other economic grants and incentives.
- Represented Ohio university in connection with the unwind of a historic tax credit structure.
- Represented bank in connection with seven separate permanent and construction loan financings covering 15 solar projects in Massachusetts, Illinois, Georgia, and New York.
- Represented bank in connection with the admission of a tax equity investor for five solar projects located in Massachusetts and Texas.
- Represented bank in closing a $30 million loan transaction to large distributor of baked goods and breads; advised on structure and documentation of subordination of a third-party lender and shareholder debt.
- Represented a real estate developer in connection with the admission of an equity investor and the granting of a conservation easement for the façade and air rights for two historic buildings. Also represented the client on a construction loan for the redevelopment of the buildings for office use.
- Represented real estate developer in connection with the use of federal historic tax credits and Ohio state historic tax credits for the rehabilitation of two vacant buildings for redevelopment into mixed-use multifamily residential apartments and retail spaces. The transactions involved two historic tax credit investors and two bridge loans.
- Represented the developer in connection with securing a bridge loan for a historic rehabilitation project located in Ohio.
- Represented bank in connection with the financing of a project utilizing new markets tax credits located in Michigan.
- Represented federal historic tax credit and Ohio historic tax credit investor in connection with the $9 Million rehabilitation of a boutique hotel and conference center in Ohio.
- Represented client in the complex financing involved in the acquisition of historic building in downtown Cleveland.
- Assisted in representation of developer in obtaining Enterprise Zone Tax Exemption for new construction of $22 million hotel.
- Provided guidance and prepared documentation to assist municipality in expansion of existing Ohio Energy Special Improvement District.
- Represented borrower in $15 million revolving credit facility with national financial institution.
Honors & Recognition
Selected for inclusion in Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch for Banking and Finance Law, Public Finance Law, and Real Estate Law (2022-2024)
Leadership Achievement Award, Western Michigan University Cooley Law School
Award of Excellence for Young Leadership in Financial Services, Grand Rapids Area Professionals for Excellence
Distinguished Student Award, Western Michigan University Cooley Law School
Outstanding Adult Learner Award, Grand Rapids Area Higher Education Network
Western Michigan University Thomas M Cooley Law School
Grand Valley State University
Admissions – Court
- U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan
Admissions – State
Professional & Civic
Urban Land Institute
State Bar of Michigan
Historic Gateway Neighborhood Corporation – Board Member; Vice President; Chair, Place Committee
Urban Land Institute, Cleveland District Council – Co-Chair, Technical Assistance Panel Subcommittee; Member, Outreach Committee; Member, Women's Leadership Initiative Committee
Western Michigan University Cooley Law School Alumni Association – Board Member; Chair, Nominations Committee; Board, Past President
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