NDC Academy Award Winners Selected at NDC Academy 2015

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Jerry Abramson honors the winners in his Keynote address at the 2015 NDC Academy held in Washington, D.C.

"Things are getting better for many, but it is time to make sure things get better for all.” - Jerry Abramson, Deputy Assistant to the President

National Development Council (NDC) celebrated the 2015 NDC Academy Award winners at their biennial conference in Washington, D.C. this week. The 2015 Academy Awards honor innovative economic and community development projects and individuals that make a significantly impact in their communities.

Jerry Abramson, Deputy Assistant to the President and Director of Intergovernmental Affairs at the White House, spoke at the Academy Awards Luncheon honoring the award winners.

“Community investment takes time, you have to have a plan and you have to have partners, and you have to have stake holders,” said Mr. Abramson in his keynote address. “The time is now to bring everyone together and sit around the table to make a development plan for our communities. Things are getting better for many, but it is time to make sure things get better for all.”

The NDC Academy Award winners were selected by a vote of their peers for their excellence in four categories:

Community Development
The City of Shreveport, LA and Shreveport Commons won the award in the Category of Community Development. The Shreveport Commons is the City’s first arts led community and is based on an 18 month vision and planning community process, the nine block Urban Arts Community incorporates 36 major projects spanning housing, transportation, green space, public arts and workforce development.

Affordable Housing Winner
Atlantic Development & Investments and their project, Ghost Ranch Lodge in Tucson, AZ won the award in affordable housing. The project addresses the housing needs of low-income seniors and physically disabled persons in the Tucson area through the conversion of the studio motor court apartments into one-level one-bedroom apartments, which are uniquely suited to the needs of the elderly.

Creative Financing
The City of Dallas, TX and Lancaster Urban Village won the award for Creative Financing. The development is a transit oriented, mixed-use project that provides mixed-income multifamily housing, retail and commercial space and serves the needs of persons newly employed as well as those currently employed in the area. The project took advantage of a diverse source of funds, utilizing a HUD 108 loan and HUD 221(d)4, New Markets Tax Credits, Tax Increment Financing, and the Public-Private Partnership Fund administered by the City of Dallas.

Job Creation
The Makah Commercial fishing Dock in Neah Bay, WA won the award for Job Creation. The dock was originally constructed in 1952 for use by commercial fishing vessels to offload their catch, the concrete and creosote dock had been in a state of significant disrepair and a recent failure had essentially shut it down for all activity. The new state-of-the-art dock is a major source of income for the Makah tribe, It supports a diverse array of tribal and non-tribal businesses and a regional fish processing industry that includes 90 different Small Businesses and supports over 400 jobs.

Two new awards were introduced this year honoring projects for their community impact and financial structuring.

Saundra Hudson, National Development Council’s Chairperson, selected Bickerdike Redevelopment Corporation for the inaugural Chairperson’s Award for Excellence in Community Impact for their project Zapata Apartments. The 61-unit affordable housing development is four newly constructed, environmentally sustainable buildings in Chicago’s Logan Square area.

“Chicago’s Logan Square neighborhood has experienced a significant amount of transition in recent years.” Said Ms. Hudson, “The Zapata Apartments provides direly needed affordable rental housing, preserving a space for low-income, working families in Logan Square, while in turn stabilizing area school populations.”

Robert W. Davenport, President of National Development Council, selected the Island Employee Cooperative and Coastal Enterprises, Inc. for the inaugural President’s Award for Financial Structuring. The group was formed to negotiate a purchase of three variety stores in Deer Isle, Maine, a population of 3,000 people.

“Sixty-two employees organized a cooperative to purchase three stores, establishing themselves as Maine’s largest worker co-op and second largest in New England.” Said Mr. Davenport. “This is a forward thinking model of how small businesses can stay in business and save and create jobs in their communities.”

The first ever recipient of the Robert W. Davenport Community Development Leadership Award that honors an individual for leadership in the field of economic development went to Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone for his incredible work and single-minded focus on making the Wyandanch Rising project on Long Island a reality.

“I am honored that I have been chosen to be the first recipient of the Robert W. Davenport Community Development Leadership Award for the Wyandanch Rising project,” said Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone. “Robert Davenport is truly a committed community servant who has dedicated a large portion of his time to ensuring underserved communities have access to the resources needed to uplift communities and people. The Wyandanch Rising project is an initiative which is aligned with the mission of the National Development Council and I thank you for finding me and the project a worthy candidate to receive this most prestigious award.”

“Bob Davenport is the living, breathing example of what NDC is all about; providing capital to create affordable homes, better communities and more jobs and opportunity in underserved areas,” said NDC Executive Vice President Dan Marsh. “The Wyandanch Rising project exemplifies this ideal as does the incredible and relentless leadership shown by Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone in making it a reality. I want to commend Steve and celebrate Bob whose legacy will live on through this award.”

“We received over 90 submissions from communities across the country. All of which deserved to be honored for the important work they are doing across the country.” Said Davenport, “A special congratulations to the winners of this year’s 2015 NDC Academy Awards. They are all truly remarkable projects.”

For more information on the 2015 NDC Academy Award Winners please visit ndcacademy.org/2015-awards

About The NDC Academy

The NDC Academy is a biennial conference of the National Development Council, which brings together economic and community development professionals from around the nation with policy makers, advocates and elected officials for high impact training, learning and networking. Former Governor of Michigan and president of the Business Roundtable, John Engler and Deputy Assistant to the President and Director of Intergovernmental affairs at the White House, Jerry Abramson as keynote speakers. John Engler welcomed the 400 plus participants at the event’s Keynote Lunch on the opening day, while Deputy Assistant Abramson addressed attendees during the Awards Luncheon held the final day of the conference.

For more information on the NDC Academy, please visit: http://ndcacademy.org/

About the National Development Council (NDC)

NDC is a nonprofit that was established in 1969 to operate as one of the nation’s first socially motivated investment bank and community development advisors. We connect the nation’s vast financial resources to Main Street investment across America and create financial efficiency by leveraging the impact of every public dollar invested in overlooked communities across the nation that are home to millions of small businesses and middle class Americans working to achieve a good job and homeownership. NDC acts as a teacher, advisor, investor, developer and lender all in one, working tirelessly to increase the flow of investment capital, spur job creation and bring community development to America’s economically forgotten areas. NDC stands for quality of opportunity through Homes, Jobs and Communities.

For more information about NDC, please visit: http://www.nationaldevelopmentcouncil.org/

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Matt Calcavecchia
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