Article appeared in Lehigh Valley Business: 4/21/2014
With major development projects such as the City Center buildings in Allentown and the Community Reinvestment and Improvement Zone in South Side Bethlehem, there is a lot of major investment going on in the Lehigh Valley.
But Andrew Rachlin, vice president of The Reinvestment Fund of Philadelphia, said his company asked: “What about the other, smaller projects – the ones not making the news, but just outside it?”
That’s where his firm comes into the picture.
The fund, which generally goes by the name TRF, is a nonprofit community development financial institution which has entered the Lehigh Valley in partnership with Bethlehem-based urban redevelopment consulting firm Taggart Associates.
Rachlin said his company saw a need for loans that were smaller than the multimillion dollar loans that banks were making to the major developers and larger than the microloans the Lehigh Valley’s existing CDFI, the Rising Tide Community Loan Fund, was able to make.
And so the company reached out to Taggart as eyes on the ground in the community to help it determine which projects its niche brand of loans would be able to benefit.
TRF began making its loans in the Lehigh Valley a little more than six months ago. The development of the C-Town market in South Side Bethlehem was one of its first projects. The fund contributed $2.6 million in loans for that project.