Fall 2015 Newsletter
Project is an example of balanced community development in a gentrifying neighborhood
Genesis LA has provided a $13.1 million New Market Tax Credit (NMTC) allocation and a $1 million gap loan for the Elysian Valley Riverfront Creative Campus (rendering above). The project will redevelop a 37,000 sq. ft. site (including the adaptive re-use of an existing 8,000 sq. ft. warehouse) into a community driven campus addressing the unique tastes and needs of the Elysian Valley, also known as "Frogtown". The Campus is located directly on the west bank of the LA River and will feature 40 live-work units (20% of which will be affordable to low-income persons) and approximately 10,000 sq. ft. of commercial space for local businesses and nonprofit organizations. Genesis LA worked closely with the developer to ensure that the project was economically viable and resulted in tangible community benefits, including:
  • 25% of the construction hours worked will be performed by low-income residents of Elysian Valley and other LA River-adjacent communities
  • Two-thirds of permanent jobs are expected to pay living wages or better
  • The campus will favor locally-owned businesses and provide discounted rent to at least one local nonprofit organization
  • An advisory council will be established to provide input in the developer's selection of retail tenants, in an effort to best serve local community needs
  • The project will fully embrace and engage the LA River and adjacent bike/walking path, through welcoming architectural and urban design features, open spaces, and native plantings
  • A state-of-the-art stormwater capture, treatment, and re-use system will reduce the quantity, and improve the quality, of stormwater discharged into the LA River
  • The developer will reinvest a portion of its profits into a Community Benefits Fund, which will establish additional community benefits above and beyond those indicated above
Genesis LA hopes the project can be a case study for equitable growth in Frogtown and other communities where new investment and development are occurring at a rapid pace. Visit http://www.elysianvalleycampus.com/ for more information on the Elysian Valley Riverfront Campus.
The much awaited LA Prep project, a small business center for food businesses, has opened its doors in Lincoln Heights and recently welcomed the Genesis LA family for an inside look. The project redeveloped a 64,000 sq. ft. warehouse into a modern facility housing more than 50 small-and-mid-sized food businesses. LA Prep offers "turn-key" kitchens, providing businesses with nearly immediate occupancy and lowering the barriers to entry for businesses that are expanding into new markets. The project is the first of its kind and the first in Los Angeles County to provide a wholesale license to the entire facility, thus giving the businesses located at LA Prep access to more and larger markets to sell their goods. LA Prep has helped businesses lower start-up costs and provide flexible space for growth. The facility also hosts LA Kitchen, a social enterprise that provides training and employment to hard-to-employ individuals while also preparing healthy and affordable meals for low-income seniors.
Genesis LA had the pleasure of touring the new facility and tasting the unique foods and beverages some of the tenants have to offer. We were joined by our Board of Directors, our Community Advisory Board and our partners from The California Endowment, Wells Fargo, JPMorgan Chase, ProAmerica Bank, Union Bank, Community Bank, and the California Organized Investment Network (group photo above). Genesis LA also thanks its partners in financing this project, which include: Capital Impact Partners, Raza Development Fund, and The California Endowment all as co-lenders, and LA Development Fund and Urban America which provided New Markets Tax Credit allocation. Visit http://www.laprep.la/#make-it-real for more on LA Prep.
Genesis LA recently celebrated the grand opening of the Community Coalition's (CoCo) newly renovated headquarters in South LA. The headquarters consists of an 8,000 sq. ft. space designed to host all of CoCo's family programs and events, after-school programs for youth, and provide a safe place for the surrounding community. Genesis LA partnered with the Low Income Investment Fund ("LIIF") to originally provide a bridge loan to the project in early 2015, and more recently provided a second permanent loan to complete the project's interior renovations, including furnishings, technology, and signage. This year marks CoCo's 25th anniversary and the transition to a new executive director, Mr. Alberto Retana.  For more information on Community Coalition, visit http://cocosouthla.org/
We are proud to announce that the CDFI Fund Financial Assistance Awards program (FA Program) has awarded a $2,000,000 grant to Genesis LA to expand our investing activities. The entire grant will be used as capital to provide flexible lending products to community and economic development projects that address the needs of underserved communities in Los Angeles County. This is Genesis LA's fourth CDFI FA Program award.
Genesis LA recently moved into a new office suite. You can now find us at 801 S. Grand Avenue, Suite 775, Los Angeles, CA 90017. Come by and visit. The coffee is on us!