DEAL OF THE DAY: Enterprise Invests $12.5M for Redevelopment of Former Mall

By Anuradha Kher, Online News EditorSt. Louis–Enterprise Community Investment Inc., U.S. Bank, McCormack Baron Salazar and St. Louis-based Regional Housing and Community Development Alliance (RHCDA) will provide a $17.5 million federal New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) investment for the redevelopment of Crown Square, the former 14th St. pedestrian mall located in the Old North St. Louis neighborhood.This financing will help in development of 33,500 sq. ft. of commercial, office, retail and restaurant space and 38 residential apartments. The development also features 42 affordable apartments in 16 buildings financed through tax-exempt bonds, historic tax credits and other subsidies. The $20.1 million project involves rehabilitation of 11 buildings of the former pedestrian mall.The project is expected to be complete by April 2009.“This is a great example of how NMTC can be used to rehabilitate and bring abandoned buildings back to life to create vibrant commercial and residential centers, helping spur additional development and stimulating the local economy,” says Charles R. Werhane, vice chairman and CEO of Enterprise Community. “The commercial component of this project will create 80 to 110 new permanent jobs and 125 to 150 construction jobs.” Crown Square is located in a high-priority area designated for preservation by the St. Louis Strategic Land Use Plan. The financing for Crown Square includes federal, state and local subsidies, including a $730,000 RHCDA grant from the city of St. Louis, and will leverage $17.5 million in total NMTC allocation provided by Enterprise ($12.5 million) and McCormack Baron Salazar ($5 million). More than $11.4 million in financing comes from a combination of federal historic tax credit equity, state historic tax credit equity and NMTC equity from U.S. Bank. In addition, Enterprise’s Community Loan Fund made a $1 million loan to an RHCDA affiliate for the Crown Square development.When complete, Crown Square will include a visual and performing arts center, which will host a variety of arts and education programs for local residents and will be run by a collaboration of arts and education groups in St. Louis.“The strategic use of NMTC helps to provide much-needed services, housing and jobs in America’s most blighted communities,” says Joe Wesolowski, senior vice president of structured finance at Enterprise Community.