ARLINGTON, Va., April 19, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Capital Impact Partners announced today that it closed its largest direct loan to date during the fourth quarter of 2015. The loan was part of an overall financing effort of $54.8 million for projects in six states. Capital Impact finished the year with more than $130 million in total closed loans supporting projects that deliver social impact to underserved communities across the U.S.—a 17 percent growth from 2014.
"I'm incredibly excited by not just our fourth-quarter lending efforts, but what we've been able to achieve over the course of the entire year," said Terry Simonette, president and CEO of Capital Impact Partners. "While the numbers are indeed impressive, it is the impact we are having that is truly meaningful—we are proud to know that we are helping to ensure that a strong fabric of high-quality services fostering good health and economic opportunity is available to underserved communities."
Capital Impact's support of projects over six states—California, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Minnesota, and Oregon—will increase access to healthy foods and a high-quality education; support age-friendly communities; co-op development; and Detroit's revitalization. This work is expected to create more than 500 permanent and construction-related jobs, further providing help to those who live in the communities Capital Impact serves.
Capital Impact also announced a major leadership transition, with current chief financial officer Ellis Carr named to succeed current president and CEO Terry Simonette, who will retire May 2016.
"Having dedicated myself to community development and social justice, I'm incredibly honored to be selected for this position," said Mr. Carr. "I am looking forward to launching our new five-year strategy and truly amplifying our social impact in the coming years."
More about the announcement and transition plan can be found online.
In the fourth quarter of 2015, Capital Impact Partners worked with community partners and borrowers to complete transactions in the following areas.
Increasing Access to High-Quality Education
Capital Impact made its largest loan ever (outside of utilizing New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) allocations) with the $13.4 million financing of the KIPP Cooper Norcross Academy (KCNA), in Camden, New Jersey. KCNA is New Jersey's first Renaissance School to be operated under the Urban Hope Act, which was signed into law in 2012 with the goal of providing educational opportunities for students attending chronically failing and dilapidated schools in the state's urban areas.
KCNA seeks to provide a high-quality education for nearly 950 students in grades K through 8 and for another 180 in pre-K. Whereas the Camden School District has a college graduation rate of just 3.2 percent, KCNA expects that at least 25 percent of its students will graduate from college, based on KIPP's graduation rate success in its network of Newark schools, which serve a similar population.
The academy, in addition to its educational impact, is expected to have a positive effect on its entire community by serving as an anchor institution supporting the revitalization of the surrounding Cooper Lanning neighborhood. The 112,000-square-foot facility includes state-of-the-art classrooms and other education buildings, as well as two playgrounds, a basketball court, and a sports field. The project will create nearly 170 local construction jobs and more than 70 permanent jobs.
In yet another example of helping make possible projects that benefit the broader community, Capital Impact provided $3.7 million in financing (as part of an $18.3 million NMTC transaction) to enable Lehigh Valley Charter School for the Arts (LVCA) to build a new 82,000-square-foot facility. With this expansion, LVCA will now serve as an anchor institution in a larger redevelopment and revitalization strategy of the Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, community.
The new facility will improve and expand offerings at this performing-arts-oriented school as well as increasing the number of students served from 500 to 650. Included will be a 350-seat theater expected to hold more than 60 events annually, all of which are open to the public.
As the only arts-focused school in the Bethlehem area, LVCA provides a model for delivering high-quality education to students coming from many surrounding school districts. Minority students will comprise a quarter of the school, and approximately 40 percent of the total student body should be eligible for the free and reduced-price lunch program.
The LVCA project created more than 150 local construction jobs and will retain and create over 70 living-wage school jobs with full benefits. Led by Reinvestment Fund, the NMTC transaction also included local CDFI Community First Fund, and Washington, D.C.-based City First.
In an effort to support its continuing growth, the Greater Heights Academy, in Flint, Michigan, once again partnered with Capital Impact to secure financing for much-needed physical expansion. A new $1.4 million transaction will enable the charter school to build four new classrooms, serve 100 new students, and add seventh- and eighth-grade classes to the school.
Greater Heights was founded in 2013 to provide a high-quality K through 6 education in the high-need city of Flint. Approximately 96 percent of students here are eligible for the federal free and reduced-price lunch program, and Greater Heights dedicates significant resources to parent involvement and engagement. Their model has proven so successful that the school has exceeded enrollment expectations in just its third year of operation.
Increasing Access to Healthy Food
The First Alternative Natural Foods Coop, in Corvallis, Oregon, is the initial recipient of a loan resulting from an innovative partnership between Capital Impact and National Co+op Grocers (NCG). Through this unique arrangement, NCG member co-ops invest in the fund, and that money is in turn made available for loans to other food co-ops. First Alternative is not only the first co-op to receive a loan through this fund, it is also one of the organizations that voted to create the partnership with Capital Impact.
Demonstrating the new fund's flexibility, the $1.6 million loan has helped First Alternative revamp its approach, acquiring a new point-of-sale system and a new freezer; completing renovations to both of its stores; making several smaller store updates; and consolidating high-rate debt to improve its cash flow. As both a cooperative grocery store and a Corvallis community center, First Alternative's improvements made through the NCG Fund enable it to be more competitive in a growing grocery market and to provide more resources for the community.
In an effort to further amplify our impact throughout the state of Michigan, Capital Impact closed a $1 million loan to Northern Initiatives, a subsidiary of CDFI Northern Economic Initiatives Corporation. The loan will enable NCGI to provide smaller loans to food enterprises throughout rural northern Michigan. This intermediary lending effort, made through Capital Impact's Michigan Good Food Fund, allows CIP to work with local organizations able to deliver strategic financing to local entrepreneurial organizations that work directly on increasing food access.
In Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Capital Impact financed another healthy food project that fits in well with its multiple efforts to support age-friendly communities who serve low-to-moderate-income individuals 50 and older. This $3.6 million participation in a $9 million transaction—made through Capital Impact's Age Strong Investment Fund—will help ShopRite stores in the neighborhoods of Haverford North and Parkside expand their offerings to better serve this large population in the surrounding community.
The ShopRite brand is a subsidiary operation of Brown's Super Stores, Inc., a longtime Philadelphia grocer committed to offering fresh and healthy foods to local communities and is a pioneer in offering health and financial services through its stores in neighborhoods where those services are not readily available.
CIP financing, conducted in partnership with Reinvestment Fund will ensure that a wide array of fresh produce and other healthy foods will be available to local immigrant residents and the community as a whole. The project will support the addition of Brown's QCare in-store health clinic, providing primary care services to community members, as well as the 200-seat Jazz Café. The two Brown's ShopRite stores already offer banking services and this project allows them to provide additional needed community services in one space. Ninety-five percent of the employees are hired from within a three-mile radius, further demonstrating the owner's commitment to supporting the community.
Continuing Detroit's Revitalization
Once slated for demolition, Detroit's iconic Hammer and Nail building, known as the Professional Plaza, will see new life as a mixed-use development with both retail space and 72 new housing units. With $12.7 million in financing made through Capital Impact's Detroit Neighborhoods Fund (along with subordinate debt from partner Invest Detroit), this project will increase the economic vibrancy of Midtown Detroit while further demonstrating Capital Impact's commitment to working with partners who are interested in saving historic properties. The building is located on a light rail stop, as well as close to Wayne State University and local hospitals that anchor employment opportunities in Midtown Detroit. The project is expected to result in 200 construction jobs and several permanent jobs.
Closer to downtown Detroit, Capital Impact provided a $4 million loan in support of a $61 million project to redevelop 11 vacant parcels of land on Woodward Avenue, thus filling a noticeable gap in the historic Brush Park neighborhood between Midtown and downtown. The Scott at Brush Park mixed-use development will create approximately 200 units of new housing as well as new retail offerings. Financing for this project was closed through Capital Impact's Detroit Neighborhoods Fund in partnership with JPMorgan Chase. The project will create 300 construction jobs, as well as five permanent jobs at the site, and retail jobs located in the commercial space.
In New Center, just a short distance from Capital Impact's Detroit offices, an empty warehouse sitting on a largely vacant block will soon be home to new rental housing as a result of $1.3 million in financing from the Woodward Corridor Investment Fund. Just blocks from the current M-1 rail line, this project brings 12 units of live/work space to an area in great need of housing.
Increasing Access to Affordable Housing
As a founding investor in ROC USA, Capital Impact has been committed to this organization's efforts in empowering residents of manufactured housing communities to purchase the land their homes sit on. That work continued with a $2 million transaction supporting the Park Plaza Cooperative in Fridley, Minnesota, just north of Minneapolis-Saint Paul. As a result of this financing, the residents of the cooperative—75 percent of whom live at or below the area median income—are able to remain a resident-owned community and build equity in their property while also living in very affordable housing.
About Capital Impact Partners: Capital Impact Partners transforms underserved communities into strong, vibrant places of opportunity for people at every stage of life. 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 last 30 years. Headquartered in Arlington, Va., Capital Impact Partners operates nationally, with local offices in Detroit, Mich., and Oakland, Calif. Learn more at www.capitalimpact.org.
SOURCE Capital Impact Partners