There’s not much that Kathy Leslie has not done. She has been a magistrate, a minister, Assistant Attorney General, diversity officer and a substitute teacher. And since 2004, she’s also been a commercial and residential real estate developer.
In the courtroom, she admits to being tough on business, real estate and family law cases. Her preference is to go straight to court instead of engaging in meandering negotiations. “I’m ready to go to court,” she said. “We can settle after I file.”
With so much to be done, there is little time to tarry. Leslie has been involved with real estate in one form or another since she was 18, renting property, selling property, buying property and, since 2004, developing property. She was the first developer to build high-end housing in the Salemtown area of Nashville and the first to make a commitment to help rejuvenate the Dickerson Pike Corridor. She’s also the co-founder of Shugga High Bakery and Café. During the height of the pandemic, Leslie provided more than 38,000 sponsored meals to the hungry.
Leslie has watched Nashville change over the years. She wants to make sure the boom does not ignore neighborhoods that were often considered places to avoid, while working to bring a hotel and café to underserved communities. Leslie leans on her faith. She was formerly the pastor of Jubilee Faith Center and Reign in Love fellowship, performing home visits, baptisms, weddings and funerals. She is keenly aware of the need to provide affordable and workforce housing so that natives are not displaced in the process.
Leslie received her B.A. at the University of Tennessee and her law degree from the University of Akron Law School.