NMTC Briefs

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

The Office of Program Evaluation and Government Accountability (OPEGA) of the Maine State Legislature issued the report, “New Markets Capital Investment Program: Current Portfolio of Projects Produced Positive Outcomes; Cost-Effectiveness Could be Improved,” in mid-March. The report reviews the Maine New Markets Capital Investment program, concluding that the program has increased investment in community development and jobs, but that the program lacks clarity about how cost-effective it actually is. OPEGA estimated the net impact to the state budget to be an overall positive impact of $15 million for the period of 2013-2021. The report also stated that the program created or retained 764 permanent jobs that still existed as of 2016, as well as 781 temporary jobs and another 1,034 indirect jobs. However, OPEGA stated the 764 permanent jobs translates into a one-time investment of $99,179 per job and the state statute does not ensure that locally distressed communities in which the businesses are located will benefit from the program. The report is available at www.legislature.maine.gov. 

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Cascadia Behavioral Healthcare (Cascadia) announced a $4.5 million new markets tax credit (NMTC) allocation March 17 for the construction of Garlington House and Garlington Center, a new affordable housing property and mental health clinic in Portland, Ore. Cascadia’s redevelopment plans include demolishing the building and replacing it with the two new buildings. There will be 52 apartments as well as a 24,000-square-foot health and wellness clinic. The development will be on nearly 1.5 acres. The apartments will be available to low-income individuals earning less than 60 percent of the area median income (AMI). The new clinic will provide mental health and addiction recovery services, primary care, neighborhood wellness programs and affordable housing for individuals of all ages. Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., who serves on the Ways and Means Committee and the Subcommittee on Health, said in the press release that building healthier, more equitable and thriving communities is a key funding focus for NMTCs and this support is significant in Cascadia’s efforts. The new campus has broken ground and construction is expected to be completed by spring 2018.

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The Lancaster, Pa., Chamber of Commerce and Industry will get a new headquarters with the help of $6.3 million in NMTCs, announced Community First Fund on March 27. Community First Fund, a nonprofit lender, allocated the NMTCs to aid the $7.9 million renovations of the new building. The red brick building was built in 1972. Renovation plans include reconstructing the façade and replacing windows on the outside, as well as making changes inside the building. The chamber will offer professional development training programs and will expand its work with area educational institutions on credit and noncredit programs. Other tenants will include Economic Development Co. of Lancaster County, Lancaster City Alliance, Central Penn Business Group on Health, Leadership Lancaster and in the near future, Junior Achievement of South Central Pa.

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On April 5, Daniel Betancourt, president and chief executive officer of Community First Fund, and other leaders in the industry, announced its allocation of $8.3 million in NMTCs for the renovation of the former Abraham Lincoln Hotel in Reading, Pa. The property will be transformed into The Lincoln Towers, a mixed-use complex developed by Shuman Development Group. Once completed, The Lincoln Towers will provide 98 affordable-rate apartments, 10 retail spaces and an adjacent parking garage. Future tenants will include Abilities in Motion, the expansion of an existing, adjacent pharmacy and the already established Abe’s By Chef Alan restaurant. In addition, the 10,000-square-foot Presidential Ballroom will remain open as a venue for weddings and other catered events. The $11 million revitalization project is expected to create 60 full-time jobs and 92 construction jobs. 

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