Artspace Commons North

Description

Artspace Commons North is a green, mixed-use artist community in downtown Salt Lake City, Utah. The development offers 102 affordable rent-to-own apartments and 53,000 square feet of commercial space for offices, art galleries, studios and retail, on the site of a former scrap metal recycling facility.

The development involved construction of a three-level commercial building with perimeter parking and an interior courtyard, and a four-story mixed-use building that houses commercial space on the ground floor and residences on the upper floors. Apartments are affordable to households earning up to 70 percent of area median income (AMI). At the end of the seven-year NMTC compliance period, the apartments will be sold as condominiums affordable to households earning up to 80 percent of AMI, with current residents having right of first refusal.

A Green Advantage

Artspace Commons North was built to U.S. Green Building Council LEED Gold standards, and benefited from a $50,000 grant from Enterprise’s Green Communities initiative. Green features included solar heating, energy-efficient boilers and windows, Energy Star appliances, water-conserving plumbing fixtures, landscaping with native plants and green berms. Additionally, this transit-oriented development is located within two blocks of a light rail stop.

Investment Type

A total of $27.1 million in NMTC financing was provided to Artspace Commons North using $20 million of Enterprise’s 5th round NMTC allocation and $7.1 million in allocation from Brownfield Revitalization LLC. American Express Centurion Bank and U.S. Bancorp Community Development Corporation (USBCDC) each invested in $10 million of Enterprise’s NMTC allocation. The Utah Community Reinvestment Corporation provided mini-perm loans to the project financing.

Market

The site is located in the Granary District of downtown Salt Lake City, a neighborhood that qualifies as a targeted distressed community due to a poverty rate greater than 30 percent and a median income of less than 60 percent of AMI. The Granary District is undergoing a transition from warehouse and industrial uses to residential and commercial development. The city owns eight acres adjacent to the Artspace site that will be developed into another mixed-use community within the next few years. A Target store is slated for construction just three blocks from the site.

Community Impact

Artspace’s objective is to create affordable housing and workspace for artists and a professional and social community that supports the growth of culture and the arts in Salt Lake City. In addition to providing green, affordable housing and below-market rental space for arts and nonprofit organizations, Artspace Commons North was the first large project in the Granary District redevelopment. Artspace Commons North development generated approximately 350 construction jobs and 50 new permanent jobs were created by the building’s tenants.

Sponsor

Founded in 1980, Artspace, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit developer that creates affordable live and work space for artists, cultural organizations, nonprofits and small retail shops. Artspace’s projects are catalysts for revitalizing neighborhoods, spurring further development and creating synergy in the creative arts community of Salt Lake City. Artspace has experience utilizing NMTC as well as historic and Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) equity as financing tools, and currently manages more than 120 units of housing and about 45,000 square feet of commercial space.

Investors

American Express Company is a leading global payments and travel company founded in 1850. American Express issues a broad and diverse set of consumer, small business and corporate card products and services globally, including charge cards, credit cards, reward cards and co-brand cards. All American Express Cards offer access to a wide array of rewards, unique experiences and world-class customer service. Over the years, American Express Card products and services have been recognized as leaders in the industry by many organizations and media outlets. Most recently American Express ranked “Highest in Customer Satisfaction among Credit Card Companies,” for the second consecutive year according to the second annual nationwide study by J.D. Power and Associates.

U.S. Bancorp’s Community Development Corporation (USBCDC), is one of the largest New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) investors in the country. It also makes equity investments in low-income housing and historic tax credits. It is a subsidiary of U.S. Bancorp (NYSE:USB), the sixth largest financial holding company in the United States, with assets of over $240 billion. The Company operates over 2,500 banking offices and 4,800 ATMs, and provides a comprehensive line of banking, brokerage, insurance, investment, mortgage, trust and payment services and products to consumers, businesses and institutions. For further information, visit U.S. Bancorp.