SOURCE: National New Markets Fund, LLC; Strategic Development Solutions

National New Markets Fund, LLC; Strategic Development Solutions

National New Markets Fund, LLC; Strategic Development Solutions

October 22, 2009 16:12 ET

National New Markets Fund Earns Top Honors at Novogradac Community Development Awards

Financing by the Fund and U.S. Bank for Landmark Projects in San Francisco and Detroit Recognized for Exceptional Low-Income Community Investment; Additional Project Financed by Investment Partners Achieves Platinum LEED Certification

LOS ANGELES, CA and CHICAGO, IL--(Marketwire - October 22, 2009) - For the second year in a row, Los Angeles-based National New Markets Fund, LLC and its investment partner -- U.S. Bancorp Community Development Corporation (USBCDC), a subsidiary of U.S. Bank -- have earned top honors at the Novogradac Community Development Awards.

Presented by the nonprofit Novogradac Community Development Foundation, the awards recognize excellence in the field of community development by honoring CDEs (community development entities) that fund qualified low-income community investments (QLICIs) in qualified low-income businesses.

The awards go to CDEs that demonstrate superior use of their federal New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) allocation. The U.S. Treasury Department's NMTC program is intended specifically to help finance challenging real estate projects that promote economic and social revitalization in designated low-income communities.

Working with USBCDC as the lead tax credit investor, National New Markets Fund was recognized as the CDE that helped finance two award-winning redevelopment projects: Plaza Adelante in San Francisco's Mission District and the historic Argonaut Building in Detroit. Both projects would not have been possible without NMTC funding provided by the two investment partners.

The Plaza Adelante project transformed an underutilized 20,000 square foot warehouse into a multi-tenant nonprofit resource center sponsored by MEDA (Mission Economic Development Agency). The center houses several nonprofits that provide critical asset, financial and workforce development, as well as legal, health and other social support services to the community.

On a much larger scale, revitalization of the 760,000 square foot Argonaut Building involved transforming GM's former design headquarters into a new campus for the College for Creative Studies, as well as an arts-focused charter middle and high school for students of the Detroit Public School System. Once a symbol of America's dominance in the automotive industry, the formerly vacant building will soon bring new jobs, opportunity and hope to a community hit extraordinarily hard by the troubled economy.

"Plaza Adelante and the Argonaut are very important investments for the Fund given the tremendous positive impact each will have on its surrounding community," said Deborah La Franchi, National New Markets Fund co-founder and president.

Marc Hirshman, USBCDC's senior vice president and director of NMTC, Historic and Renewable Energy ITC investments, added, "We are pleased to tap into our organization's vast resources to fund these worthwhile projects, and we're excited that our collaborative efforts will help bring measurable community impact and positive change to these transitioning communities."

The Community Development Awards were presented to National New Markets Fund and USBCDC on October 22nd in Chicago during a ceremony at the annual New Markets Tax Credit Investors Conference, which is sponsored by Novogradac & Company, LLC.

This year's ceremony marked the second consecutive year that National New Markets Fund and USBCDC earned top honors. The award-winning project they helped fund last year -- the new Mercy Corps world headquarters in Portland, Oregon -- recently achieved another significant milestone.

The facility, which opened officially on October 9th, has earned Platinum LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Certification. Such certification is awarded by the U.S. Green Building Council to projects that demonstrate superior environmental performance. Platinum is the highest certification level that can be awarded.

"As funders of the project, we view Mercy Corps' success in achieving LEED Platinum as another notable success for an outstanding organization that is making a difference around the globe," commented Belden Daniels, co-founder of National New Markets Fund.

About National New Markets Fund

The National New Markets Fund, LLC (the "Fund") invests in real estate projects in targeted low-income communities nationwide. Its mission is to provide funding and technical assistance for projects that foster job creation and overall economic and social development. The Fund consists of $125 million in New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) allocation awarded by the U.S. Department of the Treasury. The Fund was created in 2005 as a partnership between Los Angeles-based Strategic Development Solutions (SDS) and Boston-based Economic Development International. SDS was founded in 2001 by Deborah La Franchi, and has become a market leader in the creation of Double and Triple Bottom Line private equity and real estate funds. Economic Innovation International, Inc. was founded in 1970 by Belden Hull Daniels, and is recognized internationally for building more than $100 billion of privately capitalized, innovative institutions that generate wealth and high quality jobs. More information about National New Markets Fund is available at

About U.S. Bancorp Community Development Corporation

With assets of over $6 billion, U.S. Bancorp Community Development Corporation (USBCDC) finances community development and affordable housing projects through the use of New Markets Tax Credits, Historic Tax Credits, Low-Income Housing Tax Credits, and Investment Tax Credits in Renewable Energy. USBCDC is the largest New Markets Tax Credit investor in the country, investing billions of dollars nationwide in hundreds of transactions. These equity investments have provided much needed revitalization and new resources to communities throughout the country. USBCDC is a subsidiary of U.S. Bank and U.S. Bancorp (NYSE: USB). Through U.S. Bank, U.S. Bancorp, and other subsidiaries, the company operates 2,850 banking offices and over 5,000 ATMs in 24 states, and provides a comprehensive line of banking, brokerage, insurance, investment, mortgage, trust and payment services products to consumers, businesses and institutions. Visit U.S. Bancorp on the web at

About Novogradac Community Development Foundation

The Novogradac Community Development Foundation is a private, not-for-profit entity that addresses the issues of community and economic development, housing and the preservation of America's neighborhoods. It fosters the development of knowledge, supports beneficial public policy, and disseminates community development information in its endeavors to establish positive change in the nation's communities. More information about the Novogradac Community Development Foundation and the Community Development Awards is available at

Contact Information

  • Contact:
    Erik Deutsch
    ExcelPR Group (for NNMF)
    (323) 851-2300 x112