Arlington, VA – (RealEstateRama) — Capital Impact Partners announced today that it financed projects in underserved communities across fives states including California, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, and Texas. Notable in this effort are deals that increased healthy food access, scaled cooperative efforts, and broadened and deepened the organization’s presence in Texas. Other enterprises supported by the organization included affordable housing, health care, and dignified aging facilities. This work is expected to create more than 275 permanent and 400 construction-related jobs, further providing help to those who live in the communities Capital Impact serves.
Another highlight of Capital Impact’s fourth quarter is an award of a $70 million New Markets Tax Credits (NMTC) allocation from the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund. This allocation enhances the organization’s ability to incentivize private sector investors to (1) partner in financing projects that increase access to critical social services in distressed communities, (2) spur economic development, and (3) create jobs. Independent analysis has shown that for each federal dollar invested in the NMTC program, eight dollars of private investment is generated. An eight-time NMTC recipient, Capital Impact will use this new allocation to finance high-impact projects in cities like Detroit, Los Angeles, and Richmond, VA.
“Every quarter generates interesting examples of the various ways we deliver impact to the communities we serve, and the last quarter was no exception,” said Ellis Carr, president and CEO of Capital Impact Partners. “I’m proud of our focus on housing and food co-ops as well as the dynamic expansion of our presence in the Texas market.”
The $38 million in fourth quarter project financing capped a strong year that finished with more than $118 million in total closed loans to projects delivering social impact to low- and moderate-income communities.
“Our fourth-quarter financing provided an excellent end to yet another strong year for Capital Impact,” said Scott Sporte,Capital Impact’s chief lending officer. “Through our efforts we were able to create jobs and increase the availability of critical social services for thousands of people all around the country.”
Financing highlights include:
Expanding Healthy Food Access Through Cooperatives
In a continuing effort to scale cooperatives that provide critical social services, Capital Impact made significant loans to two major food co-ops. The first project involved $3.75 million in construction financing to Co-opportunity Consumer Cooperative (CCC). This loan supports the organization’s efforts to build a second store in Culver City, a few miles from their historic Santa Monica site. As Culver City’s first food co-op, it will help to expand positive consumer experience with the cooperative model.
The new store will add approximately 100 new full-time and part-time staff as well as 50 construction jobs, bringing quality employment with good benefits that include medical and dental insurance, paid time off, and staff discounts. CCC also partners with a variety of community organizations and strongly advocates for the environment. They participate in school “scrip” programs—giving back 5 percent of all gift card purchases to participating schools—and they donate surplus goods and organize food drives to support local organizations that assist homeless and low-income families and individuals.
In Austin, Texas, Capital Impact provided financing for Wheatsville Food Co-op the state’s only retail food cooperative. Since its opening, in 1976, the co-op has attracted more than 20,000 invested owners. This $4 million loan refinanced an existing loan at a more favorable interest rate and made possible tenant improvements and equipment purchasing. With two locations, Wheatsville provides a number of quality jobs that offer livable wages, good benefits that include medical and dental insurance, paid time off, and a staff discount.
Both of these loans were made through the Capital Impact-managed National Co-op Grocers Development Cooperative Loan Fund.
Providing High Quality Education
Just a few miles from the Wheatsville food cooperatives, Capital Impact closed its first loan to a charter school in Austin, Texas. Montessori for All (MFA), a pre-K–6th grade charter school, will utilize its $6 million construction loan to jumpstart a multi-phase project constructing several new buildings on their current site and save money by moving out of the leased portable facilities they’re now in. In their new home, the school will be able to save on leasing costs and dedicate more per-pupil funding to schooling. MFA is expected to increase its enrollment by 600 students, add 7th- and 8th-grade curriculums, and create 50 staff positions along with 65 construction related jobs.
MFA is a high-performing public Montessori school that serves diverse communities, with students coming from mixed-income families—approximately half qualify for the free and reduced-price lunch program. Since launching, in 2015, MFA has offered a high-quality education model that compares favorably to 14 nearby elementary schools. MFA was given the highest rating in preparing students for a post-secondary education, and third-highest for student achievement and closure of performance gaps. MFA met the state’s higher academic accountability requirements in its first year and was given two out of three possible distinctions.
Scaling Affordable Housing and Housing Cooperatives
Capital Impact’s work with cooperatives also extended into the housing sector with a $5 million loan to ROC USA to help grow their capacity to directly support more resident-owned communities. ROC USA is a nonprofit social venture dedicated to making possible resident ownership of manufactured home communities (aka “mobile home parks”) by helping people work cooperatively in purchasing the land their community sits on. Further, it provides democratic homeowner organizations with the opportunity, training, and financing to purchase and manage their housing. Since 2008, ROC USA has supported more than 10,000 renters in manufactured home communities across the country in purchasing their land.
Capital Impact was a founding investor in helping to launch ROC USA and has worked with the organization to finance affordable housing projects across the country, including a $600,000 loan for the Bennett Park Cooperative (BPC), in Moorhead, MN. BPC is a 69-site manufactured housing community that provides affordable and democratic homeownership to those who may otherwise not have financial access to it. Nearly all of the residents live at or below 80 percent of the Area Medium Income (AMI) ($51,000 for a family of four).
Capital Impact also provided financing to support a more traditional mixed-income housing development near Grand Rapids, MI. Diamond Place, which will convert a brownfield industrial lot to a mixed-use development near the city’s downtown area, will include 175 units of mixed-income housing. Ninety-eight of those will be reserved for people living at or below 60 percent of the AMI ($32,000 for a family of four) and nine units for those living below 80 percent ($51,000 for a family of 5). Retail space comprising 22,000 square feet will house a new grocery store. Capital Impact partnered with JP Morgan Chase; Cinnaire, a local CDFI partner; and the State of Michigan to finance this $40 million project. Capital Impact provided a $6.4 million leverage loan into a $9 million New Market Tax Credit financing package.
Increasing Access to Health Care
Through its CPCA (California Primary Care Association) Ventures Loan Fund, Capital Impact provided Southern California’s Korean Community Services Health Center (KCS) with $300,000 in working capital to support the center’s transition to a prospective payment system (PPS). This allowed KCS to continue to operate after the Affordable Care Act (ACA) modified the way in which payments are made for Medicare services furnished at Federally Qualified Health Centers. KCS focuses on providing access to primary care, behavioral health, and social services in a culturally comprehensive fashion to the low- and moderate-income Korean communities in Orange County and Los Angeles County.
Continuing Detroit’s Revitalization
Capital Impact once again joined with Midtown Detroit Inc. to finance Woodward Grand and the North End Collective, a block of eight storefronts on Woodward Avenue, known as “Detroit’s Main Street.” Capital Impact had previously closed a $2.6 million acquisition loan and a $500,000 predevelopment loan in May of 2015 for the project formerly known as the Shoppes at Woodward.
Now, with a new $4.4 million construction loan from Capital Impact the developer is going to start the renovation of the vacant 24,600-square-foot, three-story building that will result in a mixed-use development providing space for a charitable foundation (Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation), cooperative workspaces, an entrepreneurial incubator, and mixed-income residential units. Three of the 10 units will be set aside for residents living at or below the AIM of 60 percent. Woodward Grand and the North End Collective is located at the current termination point for the M-1 light rail project and will thus brighten up a highly visible but underutilized corner at the northern end of the Detroit’s exciting Midtown/Downtown corridor. In addition, this high impact transaction will create 75 construction and 15 full-time jobs.
Supporting Dignified Aging
Innovative Development and Living Solutions of California received a $6.6 million leverage loan from Capital Impact as part of $9 million in New Markets Tax Credit financing for the ground-up construction of a new assisted-living facility in rural Fresno, CA. The facility embraces many of the key elements that make the Green House model of small-home care special, including single rooms, unstructured meal times, and a homelike atmosphere. The project will become home to 48 residents, with 50 percent of the beds reserved for low-income elders. In addition, it will create 25 staff and 50 construction related positions.
About Capital Impact Partners: Through capital and commitment Capital Impact Partners helps people build communities of opportunity that break barriers to success. We deliver strategic financing, incubate new social programs, and provide capacity-building to help ensure that low-to-moderate income individuals have access to quality healthcare and education, healthy foods, affordable housing, and the ability to age with dignity. A nonprofit community development financial institution, Capital Impact Partners has disbursed more than $2 billion to revitalize communities over the past 30 years. Our leadership in delivering financial and social impact has resulted in Capital Impact earning S&P ‘AA’ and Aeris Four Star-AAA-Policy Plus ratings. Headquartered in Arlington, Va., Capital Impact Partners operates nationally, with local offices in Detroit, Mich., and Oakland, Calif. Learn more at www.capitalimpact.org.