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U.S. Bank, The California Endowment, NCB Capital Impact, and other community leaders marked the grand opening of Northgate Gonzalez Markets on Nov. 13 in Inglewood, Calif. The new supermarket brings healthy foods and new, local employment opportunities to the underserved area’s 105,000-plus residents.
“[W]e anticipate that the store will provide residents a nearby place to shop for groceries and also help increase their health and well-being,” noted Maria Bustria-Glickman, VP at U.S. Bancorp Community Development (USBCDC), a subsidiary of Los Angeles-based U.S. Bank. “By working with valued partners and leveraging the benefits of the New Markets Tax Credit Program, we’re committed to serving as a financial resource for those working to expand access to fresh, quality foods.”
In June 2011, USBCDC said it would allocate a considerable portion of its New Market Tax Credit (NMTC) investments to projects that increase healthy, affordable food options in designated low-income areas across the country. Since then, USBCDC has invested more than $50 million in NMTC equity to support 10 healthy-food projects with development costs of more than $170 million.
USBCDC joined the California Fresh Works Fund (CAFWF) in July 2011 to help improve access to nutritious food options in California’s underserved communities. As a partner in the CAFWF, USBCDC participates in financing for business and developments that support its effort as a NMTC investor.
The Inglewood Northgate Gonzalez Markets location is the first supermarket financed through the fund by U.S. Bank. Financing for the $7.6 million renovation project includes more than $2.5 million in NMTC equity from USBCDC and a $4 million term loan from NCB Capital Impact in partnership with The California Endowment. Remaining funds came from the project sponsor. Northgate, a family-owned chain of supermarkets founded by the Gonzalez family in 1980, operates 34 stores in Los Angeles, Orange and San Diego counties.
Among other recent healthy food-focused projects financed by U.S. Bank are the First Choice Market in the Park DuValle neighborhood of Louisville, Ky., which opened in June 2012 and was financed with a $1.2 million NMTC equity commitment from USBCDC, and Gateway Marketplace in Detroit, to which USBCDC committed $17 million of NMTC equity to support the first major retail development and national grocer within the city in more than two decades, providing affordable groceries to more than 500,000 residents.