For 40 years, the Loews Pitkin Theater in Brownsville, Brooklyn was a luxurious escape in a hard-working neighborhood. By 2007, the 157,000 square-foot movie palace had been closed for most of another 40 years. A furniture store in the grand old lobby had failed. So had a church.
When POKO Partners purchased the building, it had been empty for so long that the roof had collapsed. POKO, a developer specializing in low-income areas, envisioned transforming the site into affordable housing. Then the real estate market collapsed. With financing no longer available, POKO called Next Street.
Acting as Investment Fund Manager, Next Street brought seven parties to the table in a structured transaction using New Markets Tax Credits and Historic Tax Credits. Key to the transaction was revising the project scope from affordable housing – which is already available in the neighborhood – to 65,000 square feet of new retail space and a charter school for 1,200 students.
The project has generated 120 construction jobs, and retailers have begun to sign up for the commercial space: Brownsville's first significant retail expansion since the furniture store on the same site closed a generation ago. Stores will include local businesses as well as national chains. When construction is completed in 2011, the LEED-certified complex will bring 150 new full-time jobs to Brownsville, where unemployment is over 20%.
The Beury Building, a 1929 Art Deco tower at the corner of Broad Street and Erie Avenue, vacant for decades, looms over its North Philadelphia neighborhood—a powerful reminder of just how far the building, and its once-thriving surrounding neighborhood, have declined.
Elm City Capital, a real estate development firm based in Philadelphia, is hoping to revive the neighborhood, with a restored Beury Building as its anchor. And they've engaged Next Street Capital to help them do it.
Once restored, the Beury Building will provide quality community amenities to a neighborhood that is in dire need of revitalization. Potential tenants include: medical professionals and health care services providers; pharmacy, supermarket and other essential retail businesses; and community based entities such as a charter school or child care provider.
A triple bottom line investor, Elm City Capital has been committed to implementing its social, environmental and economic mission by investing in multifamily and light industrial buildings across the city of Philadelphia.
The Elm City Capital team has substantial redevelopment experience in the Philadelphia area and elsewhere. Their work is focused on community development and engagement, construction and renovation, and marketing.
For more information about Elm City Capital, visit elmcitycap.com.
Learn more about Next Street Capital at nextstreet.com/solutions_for_business_owners/access_to_capital.
Next Street was a communications bridge for us. It was a sophisticated deal with many players. They had the skill to negotiate the transaction between the for-profit side and the nonprofit side. That’s a dance that’s remarkably difficult to do.
Our project finance team has developed customized solutions for dozens of community development projects throughout the United States. We are a unique resource in structured transactions that involve public, private, and nonprofit capital partners.
The impact is visible in new mixed-use development, stores, affordable homes, offices and manufacturing sites, charter schools and medical centers in dozens of low-income communities.
In most of our transactions, we act as the catalyst for collaboration as much as an access point for capital. Our transaction partners will tell you that we have mastered the art of forging alliances that go the distance.
Next Street can help developers connect with capital earlier in the transaction, in the critical first phase of acquiring property and putting down contract deposits. This is often hard money to find. Next Street’s extraordinary network of public, private and nonprofit partners can accelerate the process.
In some cases, we have helped clients reconceive projects that were stalled for years, either by adding a new component – retail, for example, or a charter school – or by restructuring the financing to close capital gaps.
Next Street has unique expertise in utilizing tax credit programs such as New Markets Tax Credits, Historic Tax Credits and Low-Income Housing Tax Credits with other federal programs such as HOME and CDBG to bring public and private investment to low-income communities.
When the transformation of this Brownsville landmark was stalled by a weak economy, the developer called Next Street. Refocusing the project around retail and a charter school unleashed new sources of capital and the neighborhood’s first commercial expansion in over a generation.
Elm City Capital is planning to revive a north Philadelphia neighborhood with a restored Beury Building as its anchor. And they've engaged Next Street Capital to help them do it.