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Mt. Zion Institute

Reinvestment Fund financing is supporting the historic renovation of Mount Zion Institute, a former school building in downtown Winnsboro, South Carolina.

The project will repurpose the 51,000 square foot facility to house Fairfield County offices. The County expects enhance services to the community by consolidating all its offices, meeting and recreation space, and community services into one new facility. For example, the community space that would be made available by preserving and repurposing the Mt. Zion building will be the only large public meeting space in the County. Currently, events are either held outside or moved to an adjacent county if an indoor space is required.

The project will also expand emergency services and county services to both the youth and elderly population in their county. For example, the County’s Recreation Commission offers afterschool care to 100 children. The waiting list indicates that the County could increase that to 160 if they had an adequate facility. Finally, the redevelopment will adapt the 2,664 square foot old teacherage building, a small Victorian style building on the property, into a new Fairfield County Visitors Center.

Reinvestment Fund financing is supporting Main Development and JA Jones Venture in a New Market Tax Credit transaction for the project. The $13.6 million project is also benefitting from Federal Historic Tax Credits, South Carolina Historic Tax Credits and South Carolina Abandoned Building Tax Credits. Reinvestment Fund is providing a leverage source loan and bridge loans towards the historic and abandoned building tax credits. South Carolina Community Loan Fund (SCCLF), a frequent Reinvestment Fund partner, is providing $12 million in NMTC allocations and is a participant in the leverage and bridge loans. The NMTC investor is Wells Fargo, the HTC investor is Foss and Company and the SC HTC and SC ABTC investor is Sixty West.

The school building was built in the 1930s and has been largely vacant for the last 30 years. The building sits on a campus at the heart of Winnsboro that has served as an educational center since 1777. The restoration and renovation of the historic Mt. Zion building aligns with the County’s new strategic plan to spur growth throughout the County and in Winnsboro. One of the highest priority projects recommended by the plan to help revitalize the town was to restore and reuse Mt. Zion. It was deemed to be the best catalyst to reverse the decline of downtown Winnsboro and help spur new redevelopment.

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