Through its tax-exempt bond and New Markets Tax Credits programs, MassDevelopment has invested $26.13 million in housing and health center projects in downtown Brockton. The Agency issued a $9.7 million tax-exempt bond on behalf of and provided a $7 million New Markets Tax Credit allocation to Trinity Financial’s Enterprise Block redevelopment; and issued a $9,431,000 tax-exempt bond on behalf of the Brockton Neighborhood Health Center. “Low-cost, innovative financings like these are crucial to the transformative redevelopment of Brockton,” said MassDevelopment President and CEO Marty Jones. “The City of Brockton, Trinity Financial, and the Brockton Neighborhood Health Center are all longtime MassDevelopment partners, and we’re pleased to spur economic growth in this Gateway City.” Trinity Financial, a Boston-based developer that is the project sponsor, will use bond proceeds to build a 42-unit artist live/work apartment building on the site of the former Gardner Building at 62 Centre Street. The New Markets Tax Credit allocation will finance Trinity’s rehabilitation of the historic Brockton Enterprise building, transforming the space into a 51,000-square-foot commercial building with retail space on the first floor. Trinity Financial’s multi-phase, transit-oriented revitalization of the Enterprise Block aims to preserve the historic and cultural heritage of downtown Brockton and promote sustainable mixed-use development that fits with existing infrastructure. The residential component of the revitalization effort includes 113 total units, an artist’s gallery, on-site property management, and an underground parking garage. “The Enterprise Block redevelopment project is a complicated undertaking that required some very creative and flexible financing in order to come to fruition,” said Trinity Financial Vice President Kenan Bigby. “MassDevelopment’s value was evident, not only in the financial resources that they made available, but also in the thoughtful and collaborative approach that their staff took in making this transaction work. Trinity is excited to see the positive impact that this project will have in the City of Brockton once it is completed.” Brockton Neighborhood Health Center will use bond proceeds to refinance previous debt, securing a lower interest rate for the Center and freeing financial resources for its healthcare services in low-income areas. MassDevelopment also provided a $25,000 grant to the Brockton Neighborhood Health Center in 2011 through the Agency’s Community Health Center Grant Program. Boston Private Bank purchased the Trinity bond, and RBS Citizens purchased the Brockton Neighborhood Health Center bond. “We’re thrilled to refinance our debt through the MassDevelopment tax-exempt bond program,” said Sue Joss, CEO of Brockton Neighborhood Health Center. “Our monthly mortgage payments have been cut in half, which will give us additional resources to invest in increasing our services to our patients and to our community.”
The project involves the new construction and equipping of a $62.8M, 275,000 SF spiral welded pipe manufacturing plant in rural Paris, Texas. The project will create 150 full time jobs with average starting wages for production employees of $46,000 in addition to full benefits.
Cindy’s Kitchen is the trade name for products produced by Custom Blends, a Brockton, Massachusetts-based producer of all-natural salad dressings, dips, and sauces that are distributed nationally. Brockton, located 20 miles outside of Boston, was once a center of shoe and textile manufacturing, but is now one of the poorest communities in the state. After years of rapid growth, Cindy’s Kitchen’s future growth was constrained by its small, leased quarters; in fact, it had to turn away new customers. Finding a new facility was essential to ensuring its future success. However, the company faced a financing gap in trying to make the move to a much bigger facility. In 2007, Massachusetts Housing Investment Corporation stepped in with almost $2 million in critical NMTC financing, which allowed the company to purchase and rehabilitate a 28,000 square foot building, tripling its industrial space, and enabling Custom Blends to stay in Brockton and grow. As a result, the company’s revenues have grown from $6 million to more than $10 million, and it has created 54 jobs, now with a total of 94 employees. From its beginnings in 1996, Cindy’s Kitchen’s owners have been committed to hiring locally. It has an ethnically diverse, low-income, hard-to-employ workforce, including employees who were formerly homeless or have physical disabilities. Some 99 percent of the company’s employees are minority. With a strong commitment to its employees, Custom Blends provides good wages, full benefits, a supportive, congenial workplace, and a practice of promoting from within. As a result, it has a dedicated workforce with minimal turnover and a steady stream of local residents – many referred by local churches and social service agencies – seeking jobs. MHIC’s NMTC investment filled the financing gap that the company faced in trying to make the move to a much bigger facility and made the critical difference in moving this project forward.