In the aftermath of the 1992 Los Angeles uprising, parts of the city were decimated, including a 4.2-acre lot on the corner of South Vermont and West Manchester avenues that sat vacant for three decades.
Now, however, area residents have much to look forward to as long-promised commercial development will return to the site, where 78% of residents are categorized as low to moderate income. The location will house 176 affordable apartments, retail space and a transit community hub, and will be located adjacent to the SEED School of Los Angeles County (SEED LA), a college-preparatory public boarding school.
The project, called Evermont, was envisioned and structured by BRIDGE Housing, Coalition for Responsible Community Development and Primestor, working closely with the community for many years.
This required the development of strategies between several outside entities, but also within three distinct divisions of JPMorgan Chase: Community Development Real Estate (CDRE), Tax Oriented Investments and New Market Tax Credits (NMTC).
“BRIDGE Housing called us, and we were able to bring all the strength and expertise of the company to bring this community development project to fruition,” said Cécile Chalifour, Managing Director, Head of West Region, Community Development Banking for JPMorgan Chase.
Evermont began in the spring of 2022 and was made possible in part through a series of investments and loans from JPMorgan Chase. The firm provided:
- – $92 million in funding for the construction of two affordable housing projects.
- – $64 million in equity from the Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) for housing projects.
- – $11.5 million in New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) equity for the construction of retail space and workforce development in Evermont.
- – $20.5 million in NMTC equity for SEED LA, a school facility adjacent to Evermont and part of the overall Transit Priority Joint Development Project.
- – $15 million senior direct loan for SEED LA.
“This is a catalytic development for the community,” said En Jung Kim, managing director of JPMorgan Chase’s New Markets Tax Credit Division. “Our investment brings a public boarding school and transit-oriented mixed-use development with retail and job-skills services — including a grocery store and other essentials — to South Los Angeles.”
Evermont will consist of a condo development with two housing projects and a commercial component with retail businesses serving the community, a new vocational training and innovation center, a public plaza and a transit hub. The housing projects will provide a total of 176 units, including 118 affordable housing units for residents at 30-60% of the region’s median income, as well as four units for staff. [email protected] contains 60 permanent supportive housing units reserved for seniors experiencing homelessness and/or mental illness, while [email protected] includes the remaining 116 units reserved for low-income families, homeless households and/or or young people in transition, which cover ages 18 to 24.
The housing component technically consists of two projects in terms of financing structure. The complexity of obtaining bonds and tax-exempt credits at the same time for the two housing projects and the simultaneous closure of these and the NMTC component led to the involvement of JPMorgan Chase. The project’s nonprofit affordable housing developer, BRIDGE Housing, initially received a bond allocation on just one of the projects. They needed to work with someone who was willing to be creative if the timing of securing all the funds became difficult, so they could start the process immediately, months ahead of schedule.
Chalifour notes that due to the various aspects of the project, this is one of the most complex housing projects the team has worked on. “Coordinating these three projects – and being able to close on time – is not for the faint-hearted,” she said.
“No division could push the others to invest – it was a separate decision for each side of the business,” Chalifour said. “However, the complexity of the deal and the timeline meant our CDRE team had to keep people up to date with what was happening on the ground and navigate some of the more complex issues.”
JPMorgan Chase is particularly proud of its involvement in the development of the SEED LA school, as it provides opportunities for the entire community. If there is a need for a lottery, there will be preferences for students who are unhoused or unsure of their housing, who have an immediate family member incarcerated, or who have been involved with the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services in foster care or foster care. The school will operate in a temporary location before opening in Evermont in July 2023.
“SEED LA is a 24/5 learning environment, in partnership with Los Angeles County and LA Metro, focused on science, technology, engineering and math,” Kim said. . “Students will also receive social and emotional learning and college and career readiness training.” SEED LA aims to serve 400 students in grades 9-12.
The project is a good example of the work resulting from JPMorgan Chase’s $30 billion commitment to advancing racial equity.
“We have been committed to providing affordable housing for a long time. We have expanded this commitment to go even further as a key part of our commitment to racial equity,” Chalifour said.
“There have been many broken promises about this site to the community over the years. These projects must happen because the community and all the proud residents of the neighborhood deserve it. By working with developers and other funding partners, we achieve this.