NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C., March 2, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Greenville New Markets Opportunity II (GNMO II), a Community Development Entity (CDE) managed by taxadvantagegroup and Greenville Local Development Corporation in Greenville, S.C., has deployed $9 million of New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) allocation to Limehouse Produce for the development of a multi-faceted agribusiness program at the former site of the Charleston Naval Exchange Building on Carner Avenue. Limehouse Produce provides conventional row crops, local specialties, fresh herbs and dairy products to Charleston area restaurants. The NMTC project includes rehabilitating the abandoned Exchange Building into a food hub with additional tenant space for locally owned businesses and non-profits at reduced rental rates. It also includes building a new produce distribution and cold storage facility for Limehouse Produce, with the total project encompassing over 175,000 square feet on 14.6 acres.
The economic impact of this project is tremendous, turning an impoverished area known locally as "The Neck," into one of prosperity. The closing of the Charleston Naval Base in 1996 resulted in the loss of thousands of civilian jobs. The Neck experienced the worst of this exodus with industrial sites falling dormant and almost no access to jobs or fresh foods for local residents.
Limehouse Produce Vice President, Andrea Limehouse, says, "We are very excited about the development of this property and believe it will not only position us to serve our customer base better, but will also be an asset to our new neighborhood."
The GNMO II investment will support 145 direct quality jobs and, to encourage accessibility of jobs to residents, Limehouse will establish an apprenticeship program with Apprenticeship Carolina and Trident Technical College. Beyond its own workforce, Limehouse strives to provide opportunities to minorities from the farms that supply them as well as restaurants that buy from them. One example is its partnership with Clemson University to streamline and simplify the GAP (Good Agricultural Practices) Certification process for farms through the US Department of Agriculture.
In addition to a supporting quality jobs, Limehouse provides significant support to the three local food banks, including One80Place (formerly Crisis Ministries) and the Lowcountry Food Bank. The total contributions to these organizations are in the millions of pounds of food and the overall impact is immeasurable. Amy Kosar, Food Resource Manager for the Lowcountry Food Bank, recently reported that over the past three years, Limehouse has donated 413,136 pounds of food to them alone.
"This project is a wonderful example of the benefits New Markets Tax Credits can have on a local economy," said taxadvantagegroup President Tammy Propst, who administers the GNMO II fund. "We are indebted to U.S. Senators Tim Scott and Lindsey Graham for helping to secure the GNMO II allocation, and to our local partners for their support of targeting these funds for thousands of deserving citizens in the Lowcountry."
About Limehouse Produce Company
A major community benefactor over the years, Limehouse Produce Company has been providing farmed produce and products to the Charleston area for over 70 years. Listening and responding to their hundreds of customers' needs, they also find the best products around the world for chefs to showcase on their menus. Regardless of the season, Limehouse Produce can source fresh, quality produce from one of their 70+ "local" farmers around the country. To learn more about Limehouse Produce, visit www.limehouseproduce.com or call 843.566.3400.
About GNMO II
Greenville New Markets Opportunity II, LLC (GNMO II) is a Community Development Entity under the provisions of the Community Development Financial Institutions Fund, which in 2014, was awarded a $38 million allocation of New Markets Tax Credits. GNMO II's mission is to serve and provide investment capital for operating business and real estate development projects in low-income communities across South Carolina. GNMO II affiliates are the Greenville Local Development Corporation and taxadvantagegroup.
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