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FreshWorks Fund Brings Jobs And Health To Inglewood

FreshWorks FundINGLEWOOD, CALIFORNIA— More than 105,000 residents of Inglewood will soon have increased access to healthy foods and new, local employment opportunities. The California FreshWorks Fund, a public-private partnership managed by NCB Capital Impact, partnered with U.S. Bank to disburse more than $7.6 million in New Markets Tax Credit financing to Northgate Gonzalez Markets for a full-scale renovation of a 30,000 square foot building to create a new full-service supermarket located at 10801 South Prairie Avenue, Inglewood, CA 90303. The market is expected to employ over 100 people.

“It’s amazing what transformation can come from a financing transaction like this,” commented Scott Sporte, Chief Lending Officer at NCB Capital Impact. “It opens the door for people and communities to live healthier and more secure lives.”

Northgate Gonzalez Market is taking over a building that has sat vacant for two years, ever since a previous grocery store at the location closed. A new supermarket at the site has been a priority for the City of Inglewood, and was highlighted by First Lady Michelle Obama in her visit to California in February 2012.

In addition to providing local residents a nearby place to shop for groceries, the market will also help the local community increase its health and well-being. Northgate’s Health and Wellness Program provides shoppers with guides to healthy food alternatives, and the store plans to host free health screenings and education, healthy food demos, and healthy store tours. Free mammograms and related resources will also be offered. Northgate is a family-owned chain of supermarkets started by the Gonzalez family in 1980. It currently operates 33 stores in Los Angeles, Orange and San Diego Counties .

“At The California Endowment, we know that health happens in neighborhoods, and access to healthy, affordable foods is an important step toward good health,” said Kathlyn Mead, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of The California Endowment. “The California FreshWorks Fund investment in this project helps promote and deliver more options for fresh produce and nutritious foods to the South Los Angeles community.  Increasing the nutritional value in foods we eat can help reduce the risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease and other chronic illnesses that impact quality and longevity of life.”

To help make the financing affordable, NCB Capital Impact partnered with U.S. Bank to raise $7.6 million of public and private funding using the New Markets Tax Credit Program. Financing included more than $2.5 million of New Markets Tax Credit equity from U.S. Bancorp Community Development Corporation (USBCDC), the community investment subsidiary of U.S. Bank, and a $4 million term loan from NCB Capital Impact in partnership with The California Endowment. Remaining funds were sourced from the project sponsor.

“We would like to thank NCB Capital Impact, who has made it possible for us to expand into the Inglewood community, which we are glad to be part of,” said Miguel Gonzalez, President, Northgate Gonzalez Market. “Like all other Northgate Stores, we are committed to becoming an integral part of the community and to provide to our customers quality foods, with special emphasis on fresh produce at affordable prices,” he added.

A project of The California Endowment and an all-star team of partners, the California FreshWorks Fund is a groundbreaking coalition of foundations, grocers, major banks and insurance companies, health care organizations, federal and local government, research experts and other partners that came together to create better access to fresh, healthy foods in California by forming a new, flexible, and alternative source of funds for grocers and other organizations working to expand into low access markets throughout the state. 

California FreshWorks Fund partners include: The California Endowment, NCB Capital Impact, JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Citibank, California Grocers Association, Calvert Foundation, Charles Schwab Bank, Community Health Councils, Community Redevelopment Agency of the City of Los Angeles, Dignity Health (formerly Catholic Healthcare West), Emerging Markets, Kaiser Permanente, Met Life, Morgan Stanley, NCB, Opportunity Finance Network, PolicyLink, Social Compact, Unified Grocers, and U.S. Bank. www.CAFreshWorks.com 

About NCB Capital Impact

NCB Capital Impact helps people and communities reach their highest potential at every stage of life. As a non-profit and certified community development financial institution with a national presence, Capital Impact provides financial services and technical assistance to help make high-quality housing, health care, healthy foods, and education more accessible and attainable, and eldercare more dignified and respectful. Capital Impact has used its depth of experience, cooperative approach, and diverse network of alliances to generate over $1.7 billion in critical investments that create a high quality of life for low income people and communities.  www.ncbcapitalimpact.org

About The California Endowment

The California Endowment is a private, statewide health foundation, which was established in 1996 to expand access to affordable, quality health care for underserved individuals and communities, and to promote fundamental improvements in the health status of all Californians. Headquartered in downtown Los Angeles . The Endowment has regional offices in Sacramento, Oakland, Fresno and San Diego , with program staff working throughout the state. The Endowment challenges the conventional wisdom that medical settings and individual choices are solely responsible for people's health. The Endowment believes that health happens in neighborhoods, schools, and with prevention. For more information, visit The Endowment’s homepage at www.calendow.org

About U.S. Bancorp Community Development Corporation

U.S. Bancorp Community Development Corporation has been a CAFWF partner since its launch in 2011 and is committed to participating in financing as a New Markets Tax Credit investor. With more than $9.8 billion in assets, USBCDC, a subsidiary of U.S. Bank, provides innovative financing solutions for community development projects across the country using state and federally sponsored tax credit programs. USBCDC's commitments provide capital investment to areas that need it the most and have contributed to the creation of new jobs, the rehabilitation of historic buildings, the construction of needed affordable and market-rate homes, the development of renewable energy facilities, and the generation of commercial economic activity in underserved communities. Visit USBCDC on the web at www.usbank.com/cdc.

About U.S. Bank

U.S. Bancorp (NYSE: USB), with $353 billion in assets as of June 30, 2012, is the parent company of U.S. Bank, the fifth-largest commercial bank in the United States. The company operates 3,080 banking offices in 25 states and 5,085 ATMs and provides a comprehensive line of banking, brokerage, insurance, investment, mortgage, trust and payment services products to consumers, businesses and institutions. U.S. Bancorp and its employees are dedicated to improving the communities they serve, for which the company earned the 2011 Spirit of America Award, the highest honor bestowed on a company by United Way . Visit U.S. Bancorp on the web at www.usbank.com.


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