ATLANTA, March 26, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms today announced that the City will be the first municipality in the country to be awarded a publicly-offered Environmental Impact Bond (EIB) for green infrastructure projects. This announcement was made during the 17th annual Parks and Greenspace Conference at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens. Through a creative financing opportunity won by the Department of Watershed Management (DWM), funding will support the improvement of resilience projects in Westside neighborhoods prone to flooding. Supported by the Rockefeller Foundation, the City will work with the impact investment advisory firm Quantified Ventures to coordinate and structure the deal, and Neighborly, to market and underwrite the finances.
"I am pleased the City of Atlanta is the first winner of the Environment Impact Bond challenge. This funding will give the City access to financing for innovative green infrastructure projects," said Mayor Bottoms. "My administration will fully maximize the community and economic benefits of this investment to help restore pride in the Proctor Creek Watershed for Westside neighborhoods."
Eight green infrastructure projects were proposed for funding at an estimated cost of $12.9 million. Projects will impact communities in the Proctor Creek watershed area located on Atlanta's westside, which includes, Vine City, English Avenue, Mozley Park, Grove Park and the Bankhead/Hollowell corridor.
"We are proud to have been selected for this opportunity," said Commissioner Kishia Powell, Department of Watershed Management. "Utilities nationwide are all searching for innovative ways to acquire creative financing, and these projects will successfully demonstrate how community partners working together can advance green infrastructure for our communities."
Each infrastructure project was developed to help improve wastewater and stormwater management and reduce the strain on the combined sewer system by constructing bioretention basins, stormwater planters, bump-outs and permeable pavement systems. Ultimately, incorporating the natural environment into engineered systems to capture and absorb stormwater into soil and vegetation, is a more cost-effective approach than traditional grey infrastructure. It also provides environmental, economic and health benefits to local communities by creating more green space in urban settings.
"This Environmental Impact Bond creates a win-win-win for Atlanta, its citizens and the environment. The City's creativity and diligence came shining through in their Challenge application," said Eric Letsinger, CEO, Quantified Ventures. "We are proud to be a part of this important, groundbreaking work to connect impact investors to mission-critical projects that create healthier, more resilient communities."
The Atlanta EIB will be hosted on Neighborly's online brokerage platform, which is modernizing the municipal bond market, by making it easily accessible for public and private investors to participate.
"By empowering the City and investors with better data tools, Neighborly enables more efficient access to capital that finances vital public infrastructure like schools, green infrastructure and neighborhood-scale microgrids," said Neighborly COO Kiran Jain. "We are excited to expand our impact by working with Atlanta to build a more resilient city. Neighborly's platform also allows investors to directly fund the projects they care about, enabling them to do well financially by doing good in the world."
EIB funding provides an opportunity to address critical flooding and water quality issues as well as revitalize neighborhoods in the Proctor Creek watershed by improving the overall quality of life. In recent years, the City has invested $2 billion in wastewater infrastructure which has enhanced the confidence of ratepayers and resulted in the recent designation as a "Clean 13" hero by the Georgia Water Coalition.
"Congratulations to the Department of Watershed Management and the City of Atlanta for showcasing their green infrastructure projects and their dedication to the community," said Saadia Madsbjerg, Managing Director of Innovative Finance for The Rockefeller Foundation. "Their efforts will catalyze the adoption of this financial tool and pave the way for other municipalities to follow suit. In the future, when we reflect on the growth of this new market, we will remember the critical role of Atlanta as the tipping point."
About The City of Atlanta Department of Watershed Management
The Department of Watershed Management is dedicated to providing the highest quality drinking water and wastewater services to 1.2 million residential, businesses and wholesale customers at the lowest possible cost, while protecting urban waterways, conserving natural resources, and providing clean, safe water for downstream customers. For more information, please visit www.atlantawatershed.org.
About The Rockefeller Foundation
For more than 100 years, The Rockefeller Foundation's mission has been to promote the well-being of humanity throughout the world. Together with partners and grantees, The Rockefeller Foundation strives to catalyze and scale transformative innovations, create unlikely partnerships that span sectors, and take risks others cannot—or will not. For more information, please visit www.rockefellerfoundation.org.
About Quantified Ventures
Quantified Ventures simplifies access to impact capital through a Pay-for-Success (PFS) approach, with strategies in the environment, education, economic development, and public health. As a leader in PFS transactions, Quantified Ventures helps de-risk investments in social and environmental innovation by evaluating, designing, executing, and managing Social and Environmental Impact Bonds.
Neighborly is a modern public finance platform and the first mission-oriented broker-dealer. We provide direct access for investors and data transparency for all stakeholders, including municipal finance professionals. We deliver the billion dollar per day market that finances public projects to a new generation interested in directly impacting the places where they live, work, and play. Our tools empower the deal teams creating new bonds issuances and the ultimate buyer of bonds. For more information, please visit www.neighborly.com
Securities are offered through Neighborly's affiliated broker dealer, Neighborly Securities, Inc. Investing in Environmental Impact Bonds contain risks. Please consult with your financial advisor before investing. Neighborly Securities, Inc. is a member of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), SIPC, and is registered as a municipal securities dealer with the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (MSRB). Neighborly Securities, Inc. is not a municipal advisor under the SEC's Regulation MA.
SOURCE Neighborly Corporation