Southwest Detroit Business Association Names Paula Carethers of Ford Land to Board

Paula Carethers
Paula Carethers // Photo courtesy of the Southwest Detroit Business Association

The Southwest Detroit Business Association, a nonprofit dedicated to supporting the economic vitality of southwest Detroit, has announced that Paula Carethers, Detroit development manager for Ford Land Co., has joined its board of directors.

Carethers joined Ford Motor Land Development, the real estate wing of Dearborn’s Ford Motor Co., in 2019. She leads the visioning, curation, and execution of Ford’s Detroit development, including the restoration of Michigan Central Station in southwest Detroit and the creation of a new mobility center in Corktown.

“Paula is a highly-accomplished urban planning professional who has tremendous experience in large-scale mixed-use developments and affordable housing,” says Michael Odom, chair of the board. “We are confident that she will add a valuable perspective to our organization and are pleased to welcome her to the board leadership team.”

Before joining Ford Land, Carethers was executive vice president for real estate at the New York City Housing Development Corp., a public benefit corporation. While there, she consolidated and refinanced the portfolio of a middle-class affordable housing initiative called the Mitchell-Lama Program; provided oversight of a 22-acre mixed-use development in Brooklyn, and served as president of the Queens West Development Corp.

She was also on the team that gained public approvals for a 2.8 million-square-foot redevelopment of the historic Domino Sugar Refinery. Carethers began her career in New York, coordinating planning efforts for the New York City Economic Development Corp., including the post-9/11 lower Manhattan rebuilding efforts.

After completing her bachelor’s degree at Michigan State University, Carethers earned her master’s degree in urban planning from the University of Michigan.

She replaces Dave Dubensky on the board, who is chair and CEO of Ford Land Co.

The association was established in 1957.