U.S. Bank, The California Endowment, NCB Capital Impact, and other community leaders celebrated the grand opening of Northgate Gonzalez Markets yesterday at 10801 South Prairie Ave. in Inglewood. The new supermarket, which brings healthy foods and new, local employment opportunities to the area’s 105,000-plus residents, is the latest example of U.S. Bank’s commitment to finance businesses that increase fresh, affordable food availability. “We’re thrilled to help welcome Northgate to the neighborhood, as we anticipate that the store will provide residents a nearby place to shop for groceries and also help increase their health and well-being,” said Maria Bustria-Glickman, vice president at U.S. Bancorp Community Development (USBCDC), a subsidiary of 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 announced that it would allocate a significant 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 that time, USBCDC has invested more than $50 million in NMTC equity in support of ten healthy food projects with development costs of more than $170 million. USBCDC joined the California Fresh Works Fund (CAFWF) in July 2011 to further advance its efforts by helping to increase access to nutritious food options in California’s underserved communities. As a partner in the CAFWF, USBCDC is committed to participating in financing for business and developments that support that effort as a NMTC investor. Northgate Gonzalez Markets represents the first grocery store 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 were sourced from the project sponsor. Northgate is a family-owned chain of supermarkets started by the Gonzalez family in 1980. It currently operates 34 stores in Los Angeles, Orange and San Diego counties.
Some other recent healthy food-focused projects financed by U.S. Bank include:
- 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;
- San Antonio Food Bank in Texas, where USBCDC committed nearly $8 million of NMTC equity to support the food bank’s efforts to double its capacity and increase the food it provides to families and children in need, particularly fresh perishable produce, fruits and frozen meat; and
- Gateway Marketplace in Detroit, where USBCDC committed $17 million of NMTC equity to support the first major retail development and national grocer within the city in over two decades, which will provide affordable groceries to more than 500,000 residents in this federally designated Food Desert.