Businesses and Foundations to Provide Loans to Revitalize Core Neighborhoods
Baltimore, December 14th —A collection of local public, private, non-profit entities today announced a $10 million loan initiative to help finance neighborhood revitalization projects in a group of Baltimore City neighborhoods where traditional funding may be hard to come by.
Known as the Central Baltimore Future Fund or CBFF, the multi-million lending initiative is designed to work in collaboration with a comprehensive revitalization strategy for a cluster of central Baltimore neighborhoods by providing loans to developers and building owners who are seeking to build or restore high-impact projects.
The CBFF will be managed by Reinvestment Fund, a national leader in the financing of neighborhood revitalization. Reinvestment Fund, which is headquartered in Philadelphia with an office in Baltimore, is responsible for underwriting, closing and monitoring the CBFF loans.
“Reinvestment Fund has loaned $43 million in Central Baltimore in the last several years, financing projects from the Chesapeake Building to the Center Theater,” said Don Hinkle-Brown, president & CEO of Reinvestment Fund. “We are proud to bring this new extraordinary resource to the community and are grateful for the private, civic and philanthropic partners, many of them long standing partners of Reinvestment Fund, who have come together to build a healthier, stronger Central Baltimore.”
Fund investors include the Abell Foundation, Anne E. Casey Foundation, City of Baltimore, First Mariner Bank, Goldseker Foundation, Howard Bank, Johns Hopkins University, Living Cities Foundation, M&T Bank, MECU, PNC Bank, and Rosedale Federal Bank.
“PNC is thrilled to partner and invest into the Central Baltimore Future Fund. We are extremely grateful for Reinvestment Fund and Central Baltimore Partnership for their leadership,” said PNC Regional President Laura Gamble. “This example of cooperation with the banks, philanthropic community, non-profits and Johns Hopkins is a perfect example of how we all can do well by doing good.”
Augie Chiasera, president of M&T Bank’s Greater Baltimore and Chesapeake regions, also recognized the importance of partnerships in enhancing the city’s communities.
“At M&T Bank we recognize that strong neighborhoods are essential to building a better Baltimore for everyone,” said Chiasera. “A public-private partnership like the Central Baltimore Future Fund will accelerate the growth and revitalization we are already witnessing in our community.”
Telesis Corporation, a Washington, D.C. urban developer, is the first company to take advantage of the program. The developer will use the financing to renovate a 12-unit row-house project in the Barclay neighborhood. Construction has begun and the project is expected to be completed by summer 2017.
“This investment has enabled a critical project in central Baltimore to move forward and will help to realize the mixed-income, mixed-tenure vision of the Barclay/Old Goucher area,” said Catherine Stokes, director of Telesis Corporation in Baltimore. “The renovation of all of the vacant homes on the 300 block of 20th Street into market rate homes will knit together the significant investment that has been made to restore historic homes in the Calvert Street corridor and the transformational new construction along the Greenmount corridor.”
The CBFF is an extension of the Homewood Community Partners Initiative, HCPI, a community-driven strategy launched in 2012 by Johns Hopkins University to enhance and strengthen 10 neighborhoods in the center of the city: Abell, Barclay, Charles North, Charles Village, Greenmount West, Harwood, Oakenshawe, Remington and Wyman Park. In 2013, the Homewood Community Partners Initiative Development Fund, Inc. was created to establish a loan fund to serve ten Central Baltimore neighborhoods.
HCPI works in partnership with individuals and associations from the 10 neighborhoods by investing in projects to improve schools, safety, and public spaces with the goal of attracting 3,000 new households by 2022.
“At Johns Hopkins we see it as our role to invest in and support the communities of Baltimore,” said Ronald J. Daniels, president of Johns Hopkins University. “The Central Baltimore Future Fund is just one of the many ways we are working with our community partners to create safe and livable neighborhoods, and to affect meaningful and lasting change for our city as a whole.”
To be eligible for CBFF funding, potential projects must be located within the boundaries of the 10 HCPI neighborhoods in Central Baltimore. They must also must be situated within one block of a neighborhood commercial corridor where revitalization is in place. Or projects must be in a location where a community plan is in place or under development. Particular consideration will be given to projects that are accessible by multiple modes of transportation and that are pedestrian-oriented.
Eligible borrowers can be from the non-profit or for-profit sectors and funding can be used to acquire property, take on construction and bridge gaps in financing. Loan terms vary depending on projects and need. Prospective borrowers must provide work opportunities to local and minority residents. Borrowers will be provided with information on best practices in local and minority hiring.
“The Future Fund is a tool that will help us accelerate the revitalization plans already in place for Central Baltimore,” said Ellen Janes, executive director of the Central Baltimore Partnership. “The CBFF will fill a gap in financing that just didn’t exist before. There have been missed opportunities because this type of financing was not in place. Now, we can go forward with a myriad of projects, from single family housing, to apartment buildings and from retail shops to entertainment venues.”
About Central Baltimore Partnership
Formed in 2006, the Central Baltimore Partnership’s mission is to galvanize the renaissance of Central Baltimore. It pursues its mission by partnering with neighborhood organizations, non-profits, educational institutions, businesses and government agencies. Learn more at centralbaltimore.org
About Reinvestment Fund
Reinvestment Fund is a catalyst for change in low-income communities. We integrate data, policy and strategic investments to improve the quality of life in low-income neighborhoods. Using analytical and financial tools, we bring high-quality grocery stores, affordable housing, schools and health centers to the communities that need better access—creating anchors that attract investment over the long term and help families lead healthier, more productive lives. Learn more at reinvestment.com
Kavita Vijayan, Reinvestment Fund