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LIIF provided financing to fill a critical gap in an $18 million New Markets Tax Credit transaction to create an innovative “healthy food hub” in a deeply distressed area of New Orleans. LIIF’s loan used funds from the national Healthy Food Financing Initiative to help transform a 60,000-square-foot abandoned supermarket in the Mid-City neighborhood into an integrated healthy food development. The site will include a new small-format Whole Foods Market offering lower priced goods, office space and production facilities for a social enterprise that trains local youth for jobs in food service (and provides healthy lunches for local schools), a new Tulane University Medical School Culinary Center for Medicine, which addresses health issues through nutrition education for medical students, and office space for FirstLine Schools, a charter management organization that emphasizes healthy food in its curriculum. ReFresh is part of a larger physical redevelopment plan for the neighborhood which includes a 517 mixed-income housing units, 270 of which are affordable to low income families.

Project Details

60,000 square feet of healthy food retail, educational & community space
5,000-6,000 daily school lunch preparation capacity
110 permanent full-time jobs created or retained
75 at-risk youth to receive job training annually

$1.5 million leverage loan from CDFI Fund Healthy Food Financing Initiative
  • Goldman Sachs
  • JPMorgan Chase
  • L+M Development Partners
  • Broad Community Connections
  • Foundation for Louisiana
  • New Orleans Redevelopment Authority
  • Hope Enterprise Corporation
  • Whole Foods
  • Newman’s Own Foundation

More Information
New Markets Tax Credits