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Michael J. Kistler

Founder & President

Michael J. Kistler founded Development Associates, Inc. (DAI Commercial) in 1983. The company originally focused on the development of apartment projects through the FmHA 515 program in both Georgia and South Carolina.  In 1986, he partnered with a general contractor based in Savannah and formed the NorSouth Corporation.  NorSouth developed approximately 40 apartment complexes throughout the southeast while also becoming involved in several large conventional tax credit projects.  In 1990, Kistler sold his 50% interest in NorSouth to his partner who still operates the mixed-income multifamily development firm – one of the most successful such firms in the Southeast.


Originally from Lyons, Michigan, Mike graduated from Central Michigan University and then received his J.D. degree from the Thomas M. Cooley Law School. He was admitted to the State Bar of Michigan in 1976 and practiced law in Lansing, Michigan for approximately five years. While practicing law, Kistler became involved in investing and developing commercial real estate. In 1980, he joined First Centrum Corporation, a regional real estate development company specializing in low income housing development. While at First Centrum, Kistler first served as corporate counsel and then moved to Atlanta, GA to become President of the Southeast division. During his time at First Centrum, Kistler was involved in the development of 35 low income apartment complexes.

Since the mid-1990s, Kistler has been heavily involved with the growth and development of Western Chatham County, developing several well-recognized projects such as the Savannah Park of Commerce, Southern Oaks Business Center, Woodlands Financial Center, Pooler Park of Commerce, Highlands Park of Commerce, Towne Lake Park of Commerce, and Crosswinds Golf Club.

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