New Markets Tax Credits News Briefs - November 2010

Monday, November 1, 2010

The Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund released preliminary data on new markets tax credit (NMTC) projects financed through the end of fiscal year (FY) 2009. Community development entities (CDEs) disbursed more than $15.8 billion in total qualified equity investment (QEI) proceeds to 2,955 qualified active low-income community businesses (QALICBs) last year, including real estate developments and operating low-income businesses. The information was collected from the CDEs, which are required to submit annual reports detailing their QEI investments in low-income communities. In addition to the data summary, the CDFI Fund also released a report and a map of all QALICBs financed by CDEs through FY 2009. After the CDFI Fund finalizes the 2009 data, it plans to repost the numbers on its web site at www.cdfifund.gov.

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Congressman Barney Frank and New Bedford, Mass. officials recently celebrated the federal NMTC program’s impact and the near completion of construction on an NMTC-financed project, the Greater New Bedford Community Health Center. The center, a not-for-profit organization that provides health-care services for low-income Massachusetts residents, used a $3 million NMTC loan from a Rockland Trust subsidiary and more than $6.8 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding to expand its services by adding a new facility in a designated medically underserved area. The project has created 68 construction jobs and helped the center create or maintain 35 positions.

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Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal LLP and Denton Wilde Sapte LLP merged to create international law firm SNR Denton. The top 25 firm has 48 locations in 32 countries across four continents, and specializes in eight core industry sectors, including energy, transport and infrastructure; financial institutions and funds; government; health and life sciences; insurance; manufacturing; real estate, retail and hotels; and technology, media and telecommunications. Joseph Andrew and Martin Kitchen serve as the new firm’s chairmen.

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A mixed-use development on a remediated brownfield site in Salt Lake City, Utah recently opened with the help of a $28 million NMTC financing package. Artspace Commons offers 102 affordable live-work units and 50,000 square feet of not-for-profit office space and artist studios. The building will also be one of the first Leadership in Energy and Environment Design (LEED) Gold-certified structures in the state. National Development Council (NDC) acted as an advisor to the developer, Artspace, and brought US Bank Community Development Corporation and the American Express Center for Community Development together as NMTC investors in a leveraged transaction with two CDEs, Enterprise Community Investment and Brownfield Revitalization LLC. The Utah Community Reinvestment Corporation provided debt financing. Artspace Commons marks Artspace’s second collaboration with NDC on an NMTC-financed project.

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Gov. David Paterson announced the availability of $30 million through the New York Healthy Food & Healthy Communities Fund (HFHC) to finance the construction of food markets in underserved communities. Grants will range from $5,000 to $500,000 and loans from $250,000 to $5 million and higher for NMTC transactions. The initiative is expected to produce approximately 382 construction jobs and create or retain 3,000 direct jobs. As lead fund administrator, the Low Income Investment Fund (LIIF) will manage the fund in partnership with The Food Trust and The Reinvestment Fund. Funding commitments include $20 million from The Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and $10 million from Empire State Development. The New York State Health Foundation is contributing an additional $300,000 to cover technical assistance and program administration expenses. More information and an application are available at www.liif.org/healthyfood.

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Finance Fund celebrated the start of construction for a third Tech Town building in Dayton, Ohio. As part of Tech Town’s technology-oriented campus, the new addition will offer office, research and laboratory space. Finance Fund provided $10.2 million in NMTCs to support the project in partnership with a $2.4 million equity investment from PNC Bank. An additional $5 million grant was provided by the Ohio Department of Development. The 62,000-square-foot building is expected to be ready for tenants by summer 2011.

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