NMTCs Offer Fresh Start for Healthy Food Hub

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The Novogradac Journal of Tax Credits features LIIF’s investment in a new healthy food hub being built in New Orleans’ Mid-City neighborhood. The ReFresh Project, spearheaded by Broad Community Connections and L+M Development Partners, is an $18 million mixed-use, adaptive reuse project that will transform a vacant supermarket building.

Once completed, the 65,000-square-foot building will house a Whole Foods Market featuring lower priced goods, a teaching kitchen run by Tulane University’s Goldring Center for Culinary Medicine, a commercial food service kitchen to produce local schools with healthy lunches and prepared foods for the new Whole Foods operated by Liberty’s Kitchen and office space for community groups, including a local charter management organization. ReFresh’s integrated approach combines health, economic revitalization, social enterprise and education.

Kirsten Shaw, senior loan officer at LIIF, noted that, “We saw an opportunity to support a project that had a holistic approach to fresh food, health and education. We believe this project will be transformative for the neighborhood, both economically and for the health of its residents.” LIIF provided a $1.5 million leverage loan from its Healthy Food Financing Initiative funds to fill a critical gap in the New Markets Tax Credit transaction for the project. Additional financing was provided by Goldman Sachs Urban Investment Group, Chase, Hope Enterprise Corporation and several other public and private funders.

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Source: Novogradac Journal of Tax Credits