NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Civic Builders today announced that it has deployed the entirety of its New Markets Tax Credits (“NMTC”) allocation authority awarded by the US Department of the Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI Fund) in Round 11 of the NMTC program. Civic Builders invested in three high-quality charter public schools in severely distressed neighborhoods: KIPP DC in Washington DC; East Harlem Scholars Academy in New York City; and Blackstone Valley Prep Mayoral Academy in Central Falls, Rhode Island. These investments support the development of new school facilities that will serve a total of 1,875 students, most of whom are low-income.
As with its prior award of $15 million in Round 10, Civic Builders deployed its entire $23 million award within the calendar year in which it was received. “Civic Builders is pleased to use its Round 11 NMTC allocation to support three schools that are improving achievement outcomes for underserved students in distressed communities,” said Civic Builders’ CEO, David Umansky. “These projects would not have moved forward without NMTCs. We hope to get the opportunity in Round 12 to help additional underserved students access quality education and reach their potential.”
In summer 2014, KIPP DC broke ground on a new 126,000 square foot facility for its high school, the top open-enrollment public high school in Washington DC. In addition to serving 1,050 students, the vast majority of whom are low-income, the project will create approximately 398 construction jobs and 58 permanent jobs and encompass improvements to Brentwood Park, a public park adjacent to the property. Tax-exempt bonds underwritten by PNC Bank provided the bulk of the capital for the $49 million project, with the NMTC debt filling the gap. Civic Builders contributed $6.5 million of its NMTC allocation to the project. PNC also contributed NMTC allocation and provided the tax credit equity.
East Harlem Tutorial Program/East Harlem Scholars Academy
East Harlem Tutorial Program (“EHTP”) has been running programs for at-risk Harlem youth for more than 50 years. In 2012, it retained Civic Builders’ services to project-manage the development of a $37 million, 50,000 square foot facility, which will provide a permanent home to East Harlem Scholars Academy that will serve 500 students. Outside of school time, EHTP will use the building for its youth programs. The financing, which closed in October, leveraged debt from The Reinvestment Fund (“TRF”) and equity from the school. Chase made the tax credit equity investment. TRF, Chase, and Civic Builders all sub-allocated to the project, with Civic Builders providing $9.5 million of allocation. The project will generate approximately 150 construction jobs and 38 permanent jobs.
Blackstone Valley Prep Mayoral Academy
Blackstone Valley Prep Mayoral Academy (“BVP”) is a growing charter network in Rhode Island that outperforms the state on the NECAP exams in every subject and at every grade level. Civic Builders recently began construction in Central Falls, RI, on a middle school for BVP, which will serve 325 students from Central Falls and adjacent districts. The project will create approximately 32 construction jobs and 41 permanent jobs in a city that has the lowest median household income of any jurisdiction in Rhode Island.
Civic Builders used the final $7 million of its NMTC allocation in the project financing. Civic Builders leveraged capital from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and debt from Boston Community Loan Fund to attract tax credit equity from U.S. Bancorp Community Development Corporation, the community development subsidiary of U.S. Bank.
In fall 2014, Civic Builders completed construction on an elementary school for BVP in Cumberland, RI, also financed using NMTCs. “With the NMTC subsidy, Blackstone Valley Prep is able to afford excellent school space without compromising on academic programming,” said Jeremy Chiappetta, Executive Director of BVP. “Civic Builders’ support and direction throughout the development process has enabled us to maintain our focus on providing the highest quality education to our scholars.”
About Civic Builders
Civic Builders is a non-profit charter school facility developer and lender that partners with the best educators to make high-achieving schools possible. Dedicated to relieving the real estate burden for charter school operators, Civic Builders tailors each facility to fit the unique needs of their partner schools. Founded in 2002 and based in New York City, Civic Builders has 21 schools completed or in development that will soon serve over 10,900 students in high-need communities in the Northeast. More information can be found at www.civicbuilders.org.