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2014 Real Estate QLICI of the Year Award Recipients

 

Winner

Triangle Plaza Hub

CDEs: GS New Markets Fund LLC, Low-Income Investment Fund New Markets LLC and National Community Fund I LLC
Developer: Triangle Equities
Owner: Triangle Equities
Location: Bronx, N.Y.

Triangle Plaza Hub 1The winners of the 2014 Real Estate QLICI of the Year Award are GS New Markets Fund LLC, Low-Income Investment Fund New Markets LLC (LIIF) and National Community Fund I LLC (NCF) for their investment in the Triangle Plaza Hub in the Bronx, N.Y. The Triangle Plaza Hub development will transform a municipal parking lot into an 88,000-square-foot mixed-use commercial and community facility. The plaza will include a Fine Fare supermarket and the permanent campus for the Metropolitan College of New York, a nonprofit college for working adults.

The development of Triangle Plaza Hub will bring much-needed job opportunities and community amenities to a highly-distressed neighborhood, said Margaret Anadu, managing director at Goldman Sachs. The facility is located in an area with a poverty rate of 48 percent, and is expected to create 188 permanent jobs and 151 construction jobs. The developer, Triangle Equities, has partnered with the city of New York and HireNYC, a local career center, to link commercial tenants with local Bronx residents and low-income New Yorkers. This will help local residents access jobs available at the facility. Triangle Equities is also working with a local community group to identify and help ensure meaningful participation of Bronx-based minority and woman-owned enterprises in the construction of the project.

The total financing package for the development totaled $35 million and included new markets tax credit allocations from LIIF, NCF and GS New Markets Fund. Goldman Sachs provided a $14.75 million leverage loan, a $10.3 million NMTC equity investment and $3.0 million direct equity investment. LIIF provided a $5.75 million leverage loan through the New York Healthy Food Healthy Communities (HFHC) Fund and also contributed a $300,000 grant from the HFHC Fund.

The flexible terms of NMTC financing opened up several opportunities for Triangle Equities.  First, lower debt service coverage and lower interest rates allowed Triangle Equities to provide favorable leases, attracting more commercial tenants. Financing terms enabled Triangle Equities to sell an office condominium at a price significantly below market rate to the Metropolitan College of New York. Triangle was also able to move forward with plans to become LEED Silver certified, which will provide long-term benefits for the building's workers, savings for the tenants and will reduce the building's environmental impact.

Honorable Mention

Flint Health and Wellness District

CDEs: Nonprofit Finance Fund, Dakotas America and Chase New Markets Corporation
Developer: Uptown Reinvestment Corporation
Owner: URC FJ, LLC
Location: Flint, Mich.

Flint Health and Wellness District 1The honorable mention for the 2014 Real Estate QLICI of the Year Award is presented to Nonprofit Finance Fund, Dakotas America and Chase New Markets Corporation for their investment in the Flint Health and Wellness District in downtown Flint, Mich. The district will be the future site of the Michigan State University (MSU) School of Public Health, and will also serve as the relocated site of the Flint Farmers Market.

Project partners expect the new district will help bring renewed activity to a pre-dominantly low-income neighborhood. It will provide affordable housing rental units and 45,000 square feet of research space for MSU's Masters of Public Health program. The development will also create 100 permanent jobs, 60 of which will be high-paying research jobs. In addition, the new farmers market building will bring fresh food options to downtown residents, as well as education programs to help promote health and wellness among the community residents.

Total financing for this project consisted of an innovative combination of public and private sources, including private donors, capital grants from the city of Flint and Michigan Strategic Fund, loans provided by Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund and equity from new market tax credits (NMTC) and historic tax credits (HTC).

Honorable Mention

Kent Corner

CDE: SunTrust Community Development Enterprises LLC
Developer: Chapel Hill Street Development LLC, an affiliate of Self-Help Ventures Fund
Owner: Chapel Hill Street Development LLC, an affiliate of Self-Help Ventures Fund
Location: Durham, N.C.

Kent Corner 1The second honorable mention for the 2014 Real Estate QLICI of the Year Award is presented to SunTrust Community Development Enterprises LLC for its investment in Kent Corner in Durham, N.C. Kent Corner is retail space that will house the Durham Co-op Market and Center for Child and Family Health.

Chris Sears, first vice president of SunTrust, says Kent Corner will help revitalize downtown Durham by creating new job opportunities and spurring the local economy. Durham Co-op Market will create 30 jobs for low-income residents, while supporting the local economy by sourcing groceries from neighborhood producers. Local businesses will benefit from the 157 parking spaces Kent's Corner will provide their customers. The Center for Child and Family Health will bring mental and emotional supportive services to the local community. Searssays the hundreds of visitors expected to visit Kent Corner each day will help encourage reinvestment in the West Chapel Hill Street district of Durham.

The development of Kent Corner was made possible through the new markets tax credit (NMTC) program. Self-Help Ventures Fund, the developer of the retail center, financed its equipment purchases through a tenant improvement allowance through the NMTC program. Self-Help also received $750,000 in NMTC equity from SunTrust for the development. Sears said the NMTC program allowed Self-Help to take on the risk of developing and financing a start-up grocery in a low-income community.

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