NEW YORK, Feb. 19, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A new fund capitalized by Citi to support commercial investment in low-income areas has made its first investment in Philadelphia, providing $2.9 million to help finance the development of the new pediatric care center for the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.
The New Markets Community Impact Fund, a partnership with the nonprofit New Markets Support Company (NMSC), helped finance the 52,000-square-foot "green" Karabots Center to serve children and youth in West Philadelphia. The center created 100 construction jobs in addition to maintaining or creating over 100 permanent jobs for area Philadelphia residents. Total development costs for the facility are estimated at $27 million. It opened its doors this month.
To support the effort, the fund is tapping $10 million of Citi's federal New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) allocation. NMTC is a Treasury Department program designed to jump-start the commercial redevelopment of disinvested areas.
"Citi is honored to partner with NMSC to provide financing for this vital project in West Philadelphia," said Gina D. Nisbeth, a director with Citi Community Capital. "It is our mission to help support those who are underserved and we know this new health center will provide much needed services to the children and families of this community."The new health center, known as the Nicholas and Athena Karabots Pediatric Care Center is near completion at the corner of Market and 48 th, a transit hub in the heart of West Philadelphia. The hospital estimates that 78 percent of the children to be served at the new facility will have some form of subsidized health coverage, such as Medicaid or the state Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Kevin Boes, president of NMSC, said it's that high need that NMSC was created to support. "We are focused on connecting New Markets Tax Credits and capital to areas that have traditionally been starved for private market investments. That's not just about bricks-and-mortar building programs. It means helping bring the products and services residents need to the places where they live," he added. The new health center reinforces ongoing work in the surrounding area to redevelop deteriorating housing and businesses and to raise standards of living with new jobs, improved education and better healthcare. Both Citi and NMSC—through its parent, Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC)—have been funding many of these efforts, in partnership with local foundations, other investors and local institutions.