The Innovate Fund, a Community Development Entity (CDE) managed by Tax Advantage Group by Cherry Bekaert and Greenville Local Development Corporation in Greenville, S.C., has allocated $16.5 million in New Markets Tax Credits (NMTC) to complete the $19 million commercial phase of the greater Judson Mill redevelopment, a 35-acre, 800,000 square foot historic campus, located in West Greenville. A joint venture between Taft Family Ventures of Greenville, NC and Belmont Sayre Holdings of Chapel Hill, NC is spearheading the renovation of a 107,269 square foot warehouse building into a mixed-use building to include non-profit, health and wellness, and retail uses.
Feed & Seed, a local non-profit with a mission to increase food security for all South Carolinians, will occupy over 18,000 square feet of space, providing them a permanent home for the first time in an HFFI designated food desert. The YMCA of Greenville will operate an almost 13,000 square foot fitness center, providing the neighborhood with its only wellness facility open to the public. Tenants of the project have committed to providing reduced rates for low-income residents, free demonstration and training programs for area residents, and community gardens and produce stands at below market rates. In total, the project will support 2,376 people annually with access to community goods and services, in an area that exhibits a poverty rate of 44.2%.
“Both CommunityWorks and The Innovate Fund have been great partners, working with us and engaging the community since 2017 to make sure this project was ultimately successful,” said Kenneth Reiter, President and Founder of Belmont Sayre Holdings. Thomas F. Taft, Jr., Principal of Taft Family Ventures also noted the importance of the NMTC allocation provided by The Innovate Fund saying, “The financial benefit to the project from the NMTC allocation not only helped the project’s overall feasibility, but it allowed us to offer commercial space to several local and non-profit tenants at significantly reduced rental rates which helped us bring in the right tenant mix for this historic neighborhood.”
Tammie Hoy Hawkins, CEO at CommunityWorks, and an Advisory Board member of The Innovate Fund, said, “This project brings The Innovate Fund’s investment in West Greenville to $46.7 million, providing both quality jobs and community services to an area of Greenville that has not seen the same resurgence as downtown Greenville. It’s exactly for this reason that both CommunityWorks and The Innovate Fund have prioritized investment in this low-income community.”
The completion of the project will help further catalyze the $125+ million redevelopment of the remainder of the campus into a mix of residential, commercial office, and retail uses noted Whitney Ferguson, Program Manager for The Innovate Fund, adding that The Innovate Fund’s investment would not be possible without both the continuing support from South Carolina’s legislative delegation, including U.S. Senators Lindsey Graham and Tim Scott and U.S. Congressman William Timmons, and The Innovate Fund’s financial partners, including CommunityWorks, Reinvestment Fund, Foss & Company, and Truist Bank.
About The Innovate Fund
The Innovate Fund and its affiliates are designated Community Development Entities under the provisions of the Community Development Financial Institutions Fund, which since their inception, have been awarded $277 million in allocation of New Markets Tax Credits. The Innovate Fund’s mission is to serve and provide investment capital for operating businesses and real estate development projects in low-income communities across Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee. The Innovate Fund’s partners are the Greenville Local Development Corporation and Tax Advantage Group by Cherry Bekaert.
About Greenville Local Development Corporation (GLDC)
Founded in 1979, Greenville Local Development Corporation (GLDC), a 501(c)(3) non-profit, was established by a group of committed community and business leaders in Greenville, SC to address obstacles faced by businesses and community-based organizations in obtaining conventional financing. Since inception, GLDC has been working to provide financial assistance, real estate development coordination, and strategic guidance for economic development projects and business expansions.
About Tax Advantage Group by Cherry Bekaert
Headquartered in Richmond, VA, Tax Advantage Group by Cherry Bekaert (TAG) is one of the country’s most successful consulting firms specializing in New Markets Tax Credits, helping nonprofit and for profit organizations access capital and transform communities. Since 2004, TAG has played an instrumental role in securing funding for over $1.7 billion for community projects across the United States. In addition, TAG provides compliance and asset management services on $530 million of NMTC assets.