Funding used to assist with the construction of the National Urban League's new headquarters in Harlem and New York City's first civil rights museum

NEW YORK, NY – October 13, 2021 – The New York City Regional Center is pleased to announce the closing of a New Market Tax Credit transaction to assist the construction of the National Urban League Empowerment Center in Harlem.  The transaction utilized a portion of the $50 million in New Market Tax Credits (“NMTC”) recently awarded from the U.S. Department of Treasury to NYCR-CDE, a Community Development Entity managed by the New York City Regional Center.  To receive a NMTC allocation award, the New York City Regional Center was required to demonstrate a mission and track record of providing investment capital for low-income communities.

NYCR CDE provided $6 million of NMTC allocation to assist with the construction of the National Urban League Empowerment Center, one of the most significant economic development projects in Harlem’s recent history.  Located on 125th Street, the Empowerment Center will include the Urban League’s new headquarters as well as the Urban Civil Rights Museum Experience, New York City’s first civil rights museum.  The project will also include the National Urban League Institute for Race, Equality and Justice, along with 170 units of affordable housing and below market office space for non-profits and community groups including One Hundred Black Men of New York, United Negro College Fund New York, and the Harlem-based Jazzmobile. 

One of the nation’s preeminent civil rights and social justice organizations, the National Urban League is dedicated to economic empowerment, equality, and social justice.  Founded in Harlem in 1910 in response to the Great Migrations that brought millions of African Americans from the rural South to the industrial North, the Urban League collaborates at the national and local levels with community leaders, policymakers, and corporate partners to elevate the standards of living for African Americans and other historically underserved groups. 

The NMTC Program was created by Congress in 2000 in an effort to stimulate private investment and economic growth in low-income neighborhoods and rural communities that lack access to capital. Historically, low-income communities often have difficulty attracting investment.  The NMTC Program aims to break this cycle of disinvestment by attracting the private investment necessary to reinvigorate struggling local economies. Private capital is incentivized by providing federal income tax credits to investors in exchange for making equity investments in low-income neighborhoods.

Since 2016, a New York City Regional Center-managed entity has received four NMTC awards from the U.S. Treasury totaling $165 million. These allocations have provided a unique opportunity for the New York City Regional Center to continue its mission of providing financing that creates jobs and stimulates community revitalization in underserved areas of New York City. These allocations are among the first managed by an EB-5 regional center.

About the National Urban League

With 90 affiliates serving 300 communities in 37 states and the District of Columbia, the National Urban League spearheads the development of social programs and authoritative public policy research, and advocate for policies and services that close the equality gap. At the community level, the National Urban League and its affiliates provide direct services that improve the lives of more than two million people annually.  The Urban League’s mission is to help African-Americans and others in underserved communities achieve their highest true social parity, economic self- reliance, power, and civil rights. The Urban League promotes economic empowerment through education and job training, housing and community development, workforce development, entrepreneurship, health, and quality of life.

About the New York City Regional Center

The New York City Regional Center (“NYCRC”) was approved by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services in 2008 to secure foreign investment for real estate and infrastructure projects under the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program.  Congress created the EB-5 program to stimulate economic development through foreign investment. The program’s mandate is to use foreign investment to spur job creation while simultaneously affording eligible foreign investors the opportunity to become lawful permanent residents of the United States.  The NYCRC was the first EB-5 regional center approved in New York City. 

Over the past 13 years, the NYCRC has put over $1.5 billion of EB-5 capital to work across a broad spectrum of infrastructure and real estate projects in New York City.  Much of this capital has been invested in underserved areas in need of long-term economic growth.  Examples include:

  • $767 million to finance ground-up, redevelopment, and infrastructure projects in Brooklyn, including seven projects totaling $339 million in the Brooklyn Navy Yard;
  • $108.5 million to finance ground-up and redevelopment projects in Washington Heights (an Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone);
  • $232.5 million to finance the construction of a public high-speed wireless infrastructure network in New York City subway stations and along city streets; and,
  • $220 million to finance ground-up construction in the Bronx.

Nineteen completed projects have successfully utilized NYCRC EB-5 financing to assist in the construction of over 3.8 million square feet of new development and renovation as well as infrastructure upgrades. 

In addition to fueling economic development, NYCRC offerings have enabled over 5,200 individuals to become permanent residents of the United States through the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program. 

About the New Markets Tax Credit Program

Established by Congress in 2000, the NMTC Program assists economically distressed communities attract private investment capital.  This federal tax credit helps to fill project financing gaps by enabling investors to make larger investments than would otherwise be possible.  Communities benefit from the jobs associated with investments in manufacturing, retail, and technology.  Communities also benefit from greater access to housing and public facilities in health, education, and childcare. 

Through the NMTC Program, the U.S. Department of Treasury allocates tax credit authority to Community Development Entities (“CDEs”) through a competitive application process.  CDEs are financial intermediaries through which investment capital flows from an investor to a qualified business located in a low-income community.  CDEs use their authority to offer tax credits to investors in exchange for equity in the CDE.  The tax credit provided to the investor totals 39 percent of the cost of the investment and is claimed over a seven-year period.  With these capital investments, CDEs can make loans and investments to businesses operating in distressed areas that have better rates, terms, and flexibility than the market.   

Since 2001, the NMTC Program has generated more than $55.9 billion in investments in low-income communities and businesses, resulting in the construction of 63 million square feet of manufacturing space, 98 million square feet of office space, and 69 million square feet of retail space. 

NYCR-CDE, LLC is an Equal Opportunity Provider.

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