Transaction to help fund the redevelopment of a vacant 188,000 square building to be leased to DREAM, a public charter school network and youth development organization

NEW YORK, NY – February 17, 2022 – The New York City Regional Center is pleased to announce the closing of a New Market Tax Credit transaction to assist with the redevelopment of a vacant South Bronx building that will be leased to the new DREAM Charter School.  The transaction utilized a portion of the $50 million in New Market Tax Credits (“NMTC”) awarded in 2021 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 $23 million of NMTC allocation to assist with the redevelopment of the 188,000 square foot “History Channel Building” that has sat vacant for 20 years in the South Bronx.   The building was once an ice warehouse built at the turn of the century by American brewer Jacob Ruppert, Jr.  Ruppert is best known as the one-time owner of the New York Yankees and the man who built the original Yankee Stadium.  The redeveloped property will be transformed into a new, state-of-the-art, K-12 charter school for DREAM and allow the organization to increase its capacity to serve 1,300 students annually.  The project includes the redevelopment of the building’s existing five floors and the conversion of the rooftop into a recreational space for students.

DREAM is a 30-year public charter school network and youth development organization that operates in East Harlem and the South Bronx.  Originally founded as Harlem RBI, DREAM traces its beginnings to 1991, when a group of volunteers transformed an abandoned, garbage-strewn lot into two baseball diamonds for the youth of East Harlem.  Thirty years later, the organization serves thousands of children across East Harlem and the South Bronx through a network of five free, extended-day, extended-year DREAM Charter Schools and community sports-based youth development programs.  At DREAM, 95% of students are Black and/or Hispanic; 9 out of 10 qualify for free or reduced lunch programs; and 27% have identified special needs.  By developing a whole child model that is responsive to the unique academic and social needs of every child, DREAM is creating a future where all children are equipped to fulfill their vision of success. 

“We are very pleased to support this important redevelopment,” said George Olsen, NYCRC Co-Managing Principal. “And we look forward to seeing this building transformed into a wonderful new home for DREAM students.”

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 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 14 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 5,250 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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