Melvin Washington: Risk Conference at Taubman College on March 30, 2012.

Born and raised in the City of Detroit, Melvin Washington grew up watching his neighborhood and his city slowly but surely decline before his very eyes. Witnessing the cruel transformation of his neighborhood from a place of pride to an area of despair and deterioration he boldly set out to rebuild the City of Detroit and other urban centers.

After graduating from Michigan State University, Washington began his ascent into the arena of community development while working for First Centrum Development Corporation. Washington successfully propelled himself through a 12-year career, from Construction Estimator, Project Superintendent, and Project Engineer to the coveted position of Lead Developer with First Centrum. He later moved to Florida where he worked on a luxury high-rise project.

Washington's accomplishments in the field of affordable housing are many. Over the last 15 years he has been directly involved in the development and construction of over twenty-one hundred apartments, townhomes and single family homes representing over fifty projects totaling more than three-hundred million dollars in affordable housing development; most notable the redevelopment of the historical Whittier Hotel in the City of Detroit.

Washington is most passionate about his accomplishments in the area of community rebuilding. He has an undying commitment to not just simply build housing units, but rather to rebuild entire communities, one development at a time, hence the corporate name Phoenix Communities.

Washington received an M.A. (Urban Planning) from Michigan State University and a B. S. (Construction Management with a minor in Landscape Architecture) also from Michigan State University.

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