First Loan from California FreshWorks Fund Helps Northgate Gonzalez Market Bring Healthy Foods to 119,000 and New Jobs to 122 in City Heights Neighborhood

Apr 03, 2012, 13:15 ET from NCB Capital Impact

$8.5 Million Deployed from $264 Million Healthy Foods Financing Fund

SAN DIEGO, April 3, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- 119,000 people in the City Heights neighborhood of San Diego, California now have better access to fresh and healthy foods near their homes. The California FreshWorks Fund (CFWF), managed by NCB Capital Impact, disbursed $8.5 million in New Markets Tax Credit financing for tenant improvements and other costs related to the development of a new 42,625 square foot, full-service Northgate Gonzalez Market. The new store also created 122 new jobs.

"It takes resourcefulness, determination, and a whole lot of cooperation to resolve complex issues facing low and moderate income communities," commented Scott Sporte, Chief Lending Officer at NCB Capital Impact. "In this case, to get healthy foods closer to home for 119,000, it meant combining the resources and dedication of a local grocery operator, a foundation, and several financial institutions."

This is the first loan made by CFWF, a loan and grant fund that has raised $264 million to invest in bringing grocery stores and other forms of healthy food retailers to underserved communities throughout California. In the coming months, the CFWF is poised to make several grants and affordable loans to fresh food retail projects in California communities with limited access to healthy food.

For this store in City Heights, Northgate Gonzalez Market, Northgate Gonzalez Real Estate, The California Endowment, JP Morgan Chase, and NCB Capital Impact worked together to structure an affordable financing package that met the unique needs of the borrower and project.

"The financing from California FreshWorks was critical to the success of the new Northgate Gonzalez Market in the City Heights neighborhood of San Diego," said Miguel Gonzalez, President, Northgate Gonzalez Market. "The FreshWorks concept is an innovative and powerful way to bring quality foods to underserved communities, and we are honored to be the first commercial partner for this program."

Northgate Gonzalez Market is a family-owned chain of supermarkets that was started by the Gonzalez family in 1980. It currently operates 33 stores located in the southern California counties of Los Angeles, Orange, and San Diego. Northgate's markets are full service supermarkets, focused on serving predominately Latino communities with high quality produce, meats, and specialty departments serving fresh bakery, tortillas, and prepared foods.

"New Markets Tax Credit financing is a critically important piece to many economic development projects like Northgate Gonzalez Market," said Matt Reilein, senior vice president, Chase.  "At Chase, our focus is to use NMTC to support projects that provide access to healthcare services and healthy foods in low-income communities we serve."

The CFWF helped make the supermarket possible by providing access to alternative financing options, and offers incentives to invest in projects located in low supermarket access areas.

"Too many California communities have limited access to fresh and healthy food. Today – with the close of this deal – we've given an underserved community the chance to make health happen in their neighborhood," said CEO of lead partner The California Endowment Robert K. Ross, M.D.

About NCB Capital Impact
NCB Capital Impact helps people and communities reach their highest potential at every stage of life. As a national, non-profit community development financial institution, Capital Impact provides financial services and technical assistance to help make high-quality housing, health care, healthy foods, and education more accessible and attainable, and eldercare more dignified and respectful. Capital Impact has used its depth of experience, cooperative approach, and diverse network of alliances to generate over $1.7 billion in critical investments that create a high quality of life for low income people and communities. 

About The California Endowment
The California Endowment is a private, statewide health foundation, which was established in 1996 to expand access to affordable, quality health care for underserved individuals and communities, and to promote fundamental improvements in the health status of all Californians. Headquartered in downtown Los Angeles. The Endowment has regional offices in Sacramento, Oakland, Fresno and San Diego, with program staff working throughout the state. The Endowment challenges the conventional wisdom that medical settings and individual choices are solely responsible for people's health. The Endowment believes that health happens in neighborhoods, schools, and with prevention. For more information, visit The Endowment's homepage at

About Chase
Chase is the U.S. consumer and commercial banking business of JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM), a leading global financial services firm with assets of $2.3 trillion and operations in more than 60 countries. Chase serves consumers and small businesses through nearly 5,400 bank branches, 16,700 ATMs, mortgage offices, and online and mobile banking as well as through relationships with auto dealerships and schools and universities. Chase also has issued more than 90 million credit cards. More information about Chase is available at

California FreshWorks Fund partners include: The California Endowment, NCB Capital Impact, NCB, Unified Grocers, California Grocers Association, Kaiser Permanente, Dignity Health (formerly Catholic Healthcare West), Calvert Foundation, Social Compact, Emerging Markets, PolicyLink, JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, Bank of America, U.S. Bank, Community Health Councils, Community Redevelopment Agency of the City of Los Angeles and most recently Met Life, Citibank, Opportunity Finance Network, and Charles Schwab Bank.

SOURCE NCB Capital Impact