Last month, to mark National Small Business Week, Congressman Xavier Becerra (D-CA), Chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, joined Treasury Secretary Jack Lew at the NMTC-financed L.A. Prep in Lincoln Heights.
The L.A. Prep project involved the acquisition and renovation of 56,000 square foot former warehouse into an incubator for small food producers who have outgrown their startup spaces. The project moved forward thanks in part to $16 million in NMTC allocation from Los Angeles Development Fund and UrbanAmerica. Capital Impact Partners provided $11 million in leveraged debt, with $5.1 million in equity provided by U.S. Bancorp CDC. Civic Enterprise, real estate development firm focused on revitalizing emerging urban neighborhoods, developed the project.
“Two-hundred jobs created: 50 tenants and one-third minority-owned businesses at L.A. Prep & L.A. Kitchen,” said Congressman Becerra. “I’m so proud we have places like this in the district, setting small business owners up so that they can get access to capital and help create more jobs for people across our district and beyond – not to mention, nutritious and delicious food!”
All L.A. Prep tenants receive: an exclusive production space; on-site access to everything a growing food-making business needs: flexible cold, dry and frozen storage; a demonstration kitchen; co-working space and more; a staffed warehouse to assist with receiving and logistics. L.A. Prep partner and co-founder Food Centricity, a business accelerator focused on early and growth stage food companies, provides business support and other key services to help the tenants succeed.
Tenant Spotlight: L.A. Kitchen
L.A. Prep’s largest tenant is the social enterprise L.A. Kitchen, which offers culinary training programs for at-risk individuals.
L.A. Kitchen is the vision of Robert Egger, founder of the award-winning D.C. Central Kitchen. The idea is this: L.A. Kitchen collects or purchases surplus fruits and produce from farms and wholesale companies in the region. These products fuel a 15-week, culinary arts job training program, preparing at-risk foster youth and older adults transitioning out of incarceration for jobs in the culinary field, helping reduce systemic patterns and become productive members of the Los Angeles community.
Photos from Secretary Lew and Congressman Becerra’s visit: