PROJECTS

Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis, Inc., Ferguson, Missouri

After the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, the Urban League began making plans to restore and repair the wounds suffered by this community in the aftermath of the protests. With the help of Smith NMTC Associates, LLC, the Urban League secured $6 million in NMTC allocation to convert the site of the burnt out QuikTrip in Ferguson into a new Empowerment Center. This facility will house numerous social service providers, all intent on giving struggling residents the support they need. For example, the Urban League’s Save Our Sons program is projected to impact 350 low income, predominantly African American men in the community annually – resulting in 98% of those individuals either finding a job, entering the military or enrolling in post-secondary training and education. Their Microsoft Office Professional Suite training program will help train 60 people from the community annually – equipping them with the computer skills necessary in today’s job market. Their mini-job fairs will reach another 500 to 700 people annually while their financial literacy and training counselors will serve at least 240 clients annually helping them track spending, build budgets, repair credit and find a path to financial stability and independence and homeownership. Urban League’s tenants will also offer unique services that will address the community’s needs, including job training, and placement assistance, youth programs and food pantry services for more than 4,000 clients annually. This center will serve as a beacon of community engagement, community healing and community improvement.

St. Louis Community Credit Union, St. Louis, Missouri

St. Louis Community Credit Union (SLCCU) has been serving St. Louis County and St. Louis City metropolitan area for more than 70 years by providing affordable financial products to an underserved population that have been disenfranchised from the mainstream financial system. SLCCU recently expanded its service of this population through a $4M NMTC allocation Smith NMTC Associates helped it secure to build 2 new facilities. The new branch on Union and Wealth Accumulation Center on Gravois will allow SLCCU to serve an additional 10,000 low-income persons. Services provided through these facilities include free or low-cost checking and savings accounts, small dollar loans, used auto loans, home loans, affordable check cashing services, financial education and more. The Union Branch is on the site of the former Gateway Bank which was established in 1965 as the first African American owned and operated bank in Missouri. With the closing of Gateway Bank, the surrounding predominantly low-income African-American community would have been left unbanked. Thanks to the new branch opening, this community will continue to have access to financial services. The Wealth Accumulation Center will contain 3 separate enterprises that offer both financial education and services. The Excel Center will offer free benefits analysis, financial and life skills coaching, tax preparation services and referrals to non-profit partners as well as affordable financial services. The SLCCU transaction hub will provide basic account services while the RedDough Money Center will offer low-cost, small dollar loans, check cashing, money transfers and more through a non-profit model that returns all proceeds to the surrounding community in the form of free financial education, matched savings programs and more. Collectively, the Union branch and Wealth Accumulation Center will provide robust life skills education and mainstream financial services to underbanked and unbanked populations.

Habitat for Humanity St. Louis, St. Louis, Missouri

Smith NMTC Associates, LLC has helped local affiliate Habitat for Humanity St. Louis transform the Jeff VanderLou (JVL) neighborhood through three separate NMTC transactions utilizing a total of $14.5 million in allocation. The JVL development, located within blocks of the infamous Pruitt-Igoe public housing implosion, brought 65 new homes and over $9.1 million in investment to a blighted seven-block area, profoundly transforming the physical fabric from vacant lots and blight to vibrant streetscapes and homes. Crime in the area dropped by more than half within two years of the homes being built and the 65 new homes in the development nearly tripled the number of owner-occupied buildings in the community, increasing the proportion of owner-occupied structures from 12 percent to 26 percent. This influx of working families brought more than 60 employed persons to a community with less than 50 percent labor-force participation where only 34 percent of working-age individuals were employed. As a result of the increase in employed individuals, the demand for retail services increased, helping to stabilize a struggling local retail center through the addition of new tenants including a bank and City-operated Community Center for the residents. In addition, since these homes were completed, St. Louis Community College built a satellite campus in the area.

The 65 low-income homeowners will also collectively realize an estimated $2.2 million in wealth in the form of homeowner equity over a 10-year period.

Cedar Valley Habitat for Humanity, Cedar Rapids, Iowa

In 2008, massive flooding devastated many parts of Iowa. Cedar Rapids was amongst the hardest hit, with 10 square miles of property, 14 percent of the city’s land area, completely submerged. More than 5,000 homes were affected and hundreds were completely demolished. Thousands of jobs were lost when local businesses closed due to the devastation. Total damage to Cedar Rapids was estimated at $6 billion.

Smith NMTC Associates, LLC helped secure nearly $2 million in NMTC allocation for the Cedar Valley Habitat affiliate to rebuild 19 homes in these devastated areas.

In addition to the development of 19 single-family homes, the project helped create construction jobs, injecting nearly $2 million into the local economy and flood-recovery effort and providing much-needed work for local subcontractors. The project is expected to help first-time homeowners accumulate over $520,000 in combined equity over a ten-year period.

Since the initial development, neighborhoods continue to thrive. In addition to new construction on a multi-million-dollar public-works facility, new-home development continues in the area.

Greater Des Moines Habitat for Humanity, Des Moines, Iowa

In addition to the Cedar Valley project, Smith NMTC Associates, LLC helped secure $4.5 million in NMTC allocation for the Greater Des Moines Habitat for Humanity to develop 27 new, single-family homes in six of the area’s most distressed and underserved neighborhoods.

Over the course of a ten-year period, the 27 homeowners will accumulate more than $1 million in home-equity wealth. These low-income homeowners will also realize a 20-percent reduction in utility costs as a result of the energy efficiency and green technology upgrades included with each new home.

Better Family Life Cultural, Educational and Business Center,
St. Louis, Missouri

For the first half of the 20th century, the Ralph Waldo Emerson Elementary School was the focal point of a thriving urban neighborhood on the west side of the City of St. Louis, but over the years, the school and the surrounding neighborhood have suffered severe decay and decline.  Smith NMTC Associates, LLC helped secure $13 million in NMTC allocation to transform this closed school building into a cultural, educational and business center that has been a catalyst for economic growth and neighborhood revitalization.  Renovating this 60,000 sq. ft. building enabled Better Family Life, Inc., a non-profit North St. Louis City community development corporation, to better serve the surrounding community through GED classes, skill-based job training, housing down payment assistance programs, business related seminars and motivational trainings.  The Better Family Life Cultural, Educational and Business Center includes an arts and crafts studio, technology center, learning center, dance studios, staff offices and office/business lease spaces.  The center also has a café, and a 4,000 square foot multi-purpose hall for concerts, banquets, receptions, performances and lectures.  Consolidating over six Better Family Life locations into this building has created a focal point of community improvement and social change for the surrounding community and served as an anchor to attract even more services and opportunities to the area to serve the communities’ residents.

Arkansas Research and Technology Park, Fayetteville, Arkansas

Since 2003, the University of Arkansas Technology Development Foundation has supported emerging technology companies that contribute to Arkansas’ knowledge economy through its Arkansas Research and Technology Park in south Fayetteville.  The Park injected nearly $55 million into the state’s economy in the 2013-14 fiscal year and created 385 jobs statewide.

A critical component of the six cutting-edge facilities located in Park is the Enterprise Center, a 65,000 square foot facility containing a mix of office, lab and high-tech manufacturing space.  Smith NMTC Associates, LLC helped to secure the $12 million in NMTC allocation necessary to finance this $15 million LEED certified facility.

Local 36 Headquarters and Training Facility, St. Louis, Missouri

With $15 million in New Markets Tax Credits which Smith NMTC Associates, LLC helped secure, a former Missouri Boiler facility in a distressed area of downtown St. Louis was given new life as a union hall, training facility and administrative offices for the Sheet Metal Workers’ Local 36.  After environmental remediation of the 96,000 sf building, the redeveloped facility achieved a LEED Platinum certification for including the integration of solar voltaic, solar tubes, geothermal, wind turbines and green roofs in its design.

The completed project has already become an iconic “green building” for the city of St. Louis and has been key to revitalization of the surrounding neighborhoods. Approximately 300 apprentices receive training in traditional sheet metal and HVAC techniques, as well as instruction in renewable energy and installation skills in solar voltaic cells, geothermal energy, and wind turbines. The LEED Platinum building itself serves as a real-life demonstration exhibit of these emerging techniques for the training school. The new union hall space is also made available to the community to host functions and has become a popular resource and unique space for special events.

 

 

 

habitat for humanity development
owner occupied buildings in the community

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