In remote West Texas, on the high desert between the Davis Mountains and Big Bend National Park, the town of Marfa (pop. 2,191) has quietly established itself as an art-tourism destination. Founded in the early 1880s as a railroad water stop, Marfa is known as a center for contemporary art, and former home of the late artist Donald Judd, who established the Chinati Foundation there. To draw more travelers to Marfa and create new business and employment opportunities, CEI’s wholly-owned subsidiary, CEI Capital Management LLC (CCML), utilized the New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) program, attracting private capital to this multi-faceted development project, dubbed Marfa Growth & Revitalization.
The central development includes a hotel, restaurant, and event space creating an estimated 116 new jobs, all of which pay above the living wage and provide strong benefits. The project also offers renovated space at below market rate for entities such as the Crowley Theatre, providing performance space to nonprofits and community groups free of charge.
“The team at CCML is very smart and they took the time to really understand our project and the difference it would make to our community. This project would never have happened without New Markets Tax Credit support and CCML’s assistance. We believe everyone involved should be proud and excited to see New Markets Tax Credits at work in this way. Our little town is going to receive a much-needed boost that could not have been realized without this program.”
— Tim Crowley, Project Sponsor/Developer, Owner of the St. George Hotel, and Director of the Crowley Theater
A portion of the NMTC subsidy will finance $80,000 in scholarship funding for local high school graduates, with an additional $110,000 to be recycled into a loan fund at the end of the seven-year NMTC compliance period for reinvestment in Marfa and other low-income communities.