Economic Development Partners Announce Major Revitalization Project for Greenville, Mississippi

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Enhanced Community Development and project partners use New Markets Tax Credits and historic rehabilitation credits to help finance the redevelopment of the historic Sears, Roebuck & Company store in Greenville, Mississippi, creating jobs, increasing the local tax base and stimulating economic growth.

New Markets Tax Credits will help finance the redevelopment of the historic Sears building in Greenville, Mississippi.

New Markets Tax Credits will help finance the redevelopment of the historic Sears building in Greenville, Mississippi.

"Redevelopment of the historic Sears Building will be a major step forward in the revitalization and reemergence of our downtown as a place for business, education and entertainment."

The City of Greenville, developer Bill Boykin, Guaranty Bank and Trust Company, U.S. Bancorp Community Development Corporation and Enhanced Community Development, a subsidiary of Enhanced Capital, have announced plans to redevelop the former Sears, Roebuck & Company store and three adjacent buildings in downtown Greenville, a project four years in the making that will provide an estimated 36 permanent jobs, along with 75 construction jobs, and is anticipated to spur additional economic development in the area.

Once considered the “Queen of the Delta,” Greenville is the heart and soul of the Mississippi River Delta. Unfortunately Greenville has faced some challenging economic realities, and area leaders are focused on efforts to create job opportunities and encourage greater growth. The redevelopment of the shuttered Sears, Roebuck & Company store, which was built in the 1940s, and adjacent vacant buildings in downtown Greenville marks a major step forward.

“Redevelopment of the historic Sears Building will be a major step forward in the revitalization and reemergence of our downtown as a place for business, education and entertainment,” Greenville Mayor Errick Simmons said. “This building will become a showcase property, as it stands in the heart of downtown and is the first major revitalization project to utilize the municipal tax abatements for buildings in the central business district. I applaud Bill Boykin, Guaranty Bank and Trust, U.S. Bancorp Community Development Corporation and Enhanced Community Development for their collaborative efforts in this project and encourage others to come to our downtown to open up their businesses.”

The $9.1 million project was financed in part by federal New Markets Tax Credit allocation, Mississippi state New Markets Tax Credit allocation, and state and federal historic rehabilitation tax credits.

When renovations are completed in July 2017, the property will contain retail space, a health-care component, microbrewery and full restaurant, boutique hotel, and co-working space to support and incubate local entrepreneurs. In addition, some New Markets Tax Credit proceeds will fund improvements at nearby Stein Mart Park.

“Having worked on this project for the past four years, I’m excited to turn the page in downtown Greenville and finally reopen these vacant buildings,” developer Bill Boykin said. “Significant support from programs such as New Markets Tax Credits gave us the ability to move forward, setting the stage for additional revitalization in Greenville.”

“The funding process has been a labor of love for many reasons,” said Andy Dixon, Senior Vice President and Relationship Banker at Guaranty Bank and Trust, Greenville. “We are reflecting our long legacy of investing in the lives of families and business owners across the region, just as we have since 1943. In our role as a true community bank, opportunities such as this allow us to serve as a catalyst for projects that enhance the quality of life we share in Greenville and to take another step in downtown revitalization.”

The federal and Mississippi New Markets Tax Credit programs were designed to encourage private capital investment in areas of economic distress, to create jobs and catalyze additional economic activity. Federal and state historic rehabilitation tax credits support the rehabilitation of historically significant buildings.

"The Delta's long economic struggle will take a substantial step forward with the development of the Sears project and adjacent buildings,” said Tom Oldenburg, vice president of U.S. Bancorp Community Development Corporation, a subsidiary of U.S. Bank. “Greenville will flourish thanks to the involvement of the New Markets Tax Credits and these committed partners.”

“Enhanced Capital proudly participates in economic development projects in locations across the United States,” said Richard Montgomery, Vice President of Enhanced Community Development. “New Markets Tax Credits and historic tax credits were critical to making the Sears Department Store project a reality. These programs are making a positive impact for so many communities, and we are excited for the positive impact this project will make for the people of Greenville.”

About 100 people attended a March 24 event to celebrate the project’s groundbreaking. The property is located at 517 Washington Ave. in Greenville.

About Guaranty Bank and Trust Company: When founders first opened the doors to Guaranty Bank and Trust in 1943, they did so with a commitment to serve as a true community bank, a bank that would prosper on a foundation of exceptional, relationship-based service, local loan decisions, value-driven accounts and active corporate citizenship. Today, the bank has grown to 15 locations in 10 communities across northwestern Mississippi, from Southaven to Vicksburg, but the mission remains unchanged: to make a difference in the lives of families and business owners while working to enhance the quality of life in each of our communities. In Greenville, the bank is working to revitalize downtown while investing in the dreams of its customers.

About U.S. Bancorp Community Development Corporation: With nearly $19.4 billion in managed assets as of Dec. 31, 2015, U.S. Bancorp Community Development Corporation, a subsidiary of U.S. Bank, provides innovative financing solutions for community development projects across the country using state and federally sponsored tax credit programs. USBCDC's commitments provide capital investment to areas that need it the most and have contributed to the creation of new jobs, the rehabilitation of historic buildings, the construction of needed affordable and market-rate homes, the development of renewable energy facilities, and the generation of commercial economic activity in underserved communities. Visit USBCDC on the web at http://www.usbank.com/cdc.

About Enhanced Capital: Enhanced Capital, with offices in New York City and New Orleans, is a diversified private investment firm focused on financing small and mid-sized companies overlooked by traditional sources of capital. Founded in 1999, many of Enhanced Capital’s funds are backed by institutional capital and finance businesses across targeted investment, asset management and tax credit platforms. In addition, the firm participates in a variety of state and federal public-private investment programs, including the federal SBIC program. For more information, visit http://www.enhancedcapital.com.

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Kara Hansen