Atlanta Spotlight | Dr. Eloisa Klementich
Invest Atlanta announced today that it has been awarded a $50 million allocation of New Markets Tax Credits (NMTC) from the U.S. Department of the Treasury. The award will go to Atlanta Emerging Markets, Inc. (AEMI), Invest Atlanta’s NMTC entity. Invest Atlanta, through AEMI, will use the NMTC award to provide gap financing for transformative projects, which will help jumpstart economic development, create jobs, and revitalize neighborhoods in Atlanta.
“Invest Atlanta is proud to see the U.S. Department of the Treasury allocate another substantial New Markets Tax Credit award to AEMI, validating the strategic investments we are making,” said Dr. Eloisa Klementich, President and CEO, Invest Atlanta. “Since 2006, we have received nearly $200 million in New Markets Tax Credit awards to fund projects that are strengthening the economic vibrancy of our community. This latest award enables us to continue to play a key role in financing more catalytic development.”
Congress established the New Markets Tax Credit Program in 2000 to attract investment to areas with low median income and high unemployment. The NMTC program takes private equity contributed by investors and turns it into gap financing for redevelopment projects. Investors receive non-refundable tax credits in exchange for an equity investment in a local project that demonstrates strong community impact.
“I am pleased that the U.S. Department of the Treasury continues to see the positive impact New Markets Tax Credit financing is making for our city and its residents,” said Mayor Kasim Reed. “The New Markets Tax Credit program creates more equity of opportunity and greater access to the services our residents need. With this award, our city now has additional resources to attract high-impact projects and investment for neighborhoods throughout Atlanta.”
Since 2006, AEMI has provided NMTC financing for 10 projects, including recent partnerships with Grady Memorial Hospital and Families First. AEMI used a $12,000,000 NMTC transaction to help finance Grady’s $76,000,000 expansion and renovation of its new Emergency Department building. The recently dedicated Marcus Trauma and Emergency Center will serve 20,000 additional patients annually.
Social services agency Families First received an $8,500,000 NMTC investment to convert a former Atlanta Public Schools building in Atlanta’s Westside into their new 38,000 square-foot headquarters. Families First is now able to serve 52,000 children, women and families a year, many of whom report income well below the poverty line.
Invest Atlanta is the official economic development authority for the City of Atlanta. Its purpose is to strengthen Atlanta’s economy and global competitiveness in order to create increased opportunity and prosperity for the people of Atlanta. Chaired by the Mayor of Atlanta, and governed by a nine-member board of directors, Invest Atlanta’s programs and initiatives focus on developing and fostering public/private partnerships to create jobs, grow the economy, revitalize neighborhoods, attract investment, spur innovation and encourage entrepreneurship. To achieve these goals, Invest Atlanta leverages the benefits of bond financing, revolving loan funds, housing financing, tax increment financing and tax credits.
Atlanta Emerging Markets, Inc. (AEMI) was created in 2006 by Invest Atlanta, the City’s official economic development agency, to utilize federal New Markets Tax Credits (NMTC) to attract private capital to fund neighborhood revitalization and job creation projects. Formerly known as Imagine Downtown, Inc., the company was initially created in partnership with Central Atlanta Progress to fund catalytic projects to revitalize Downtown Atlanta. In 2011, the name was changed to Atlanta Emerging Markets, Inc. to better reflect a broader mission to bring increased investment to low-income neighborhoods throughout Atlanta. AEMI is committed to funding community development projects that are part of holistic development initiatives or promote healthy neighborhoods, as well as provide increased access to jobs and services for underserved residents.
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