The Woodforest CEI-Boulos Opportunity Fund, a high-impact commercial real estate Opportunity Zone fund established by Woodforest National Bank® and CEI-Boulos Capital Management, announced its $3 million equity investment in The Wesmont in Indianapolis’ Near Eastside neighborhood. The new property, built on a four-acre remediated industrial brownfield site, consists of 188 new workforce apartments, 170 of which are affordable to people with low incomes. The Woodforest CEI-Boulos Opportunity Fund is the majority equity investor in the $31.1 million project spearheaded by TWG Development, LLC.
The Wesmont, at 1129 East 16th Street, is named after Indianapolis native and lifetime resident Wes Montgomery, one of the most influential jazz guitarists of the 20th century. The project is part of a neighborhood-driven redevelopment plan by the City of Indianapolis. In addition to several local designations targeting the neighborhood for revitalization, The Wesmont is located in one of only 22 federally designated “Promise Zones” in the U.S., targeted for priority federal support of local redevelopment initiatives. The project will benefit from an Industrial Recovery Tax Credit, which is issued by the Indiana Economic Development Corporation to incentivize investment in former industrial sites requiring significant rehabilitation and/or remediation.
“CEI-Boulos Capital Management is committed to harnessing the Opportunity Zone incentive to serve its intended purpose – to truly benefit and revitalize underinvested communities, like Indianapolis’s Near Eastside neighborhood,” said Sam Spencer, CEO and Managing Director, CEI-Boulos Capital Management. “We’re thrilled to be working with our partners at TWG Development on this transformative project providing affordable housing and improving the environment.”
“It’s great to see the equity investments of our fund making an impact in neighborhood-driven initiatives like The Westmont,” said Doug Schaeffer, Executive Vice President, CRA Executive Director, Woodforest National Bank. “There is a critical need for affordable workforce housing, good jobs and trusted guidance in Indianapolis and The Westmont is a historic investment our fund proudly stands behind.”
Revitalization and economic development benefits of this project include access to a public bus stop and “rails to trails” 18-mile walking and biking path linking The Wesmont to the city’s commercial districts, schools, parks, and residential neighborhoods. The development is creating new local jobs with an average wage of $20.00/hour. EmployINDY, a nonprofit organization dedicated to removing barriers to quality employment for underserved and underrepresented residents, will help recruit, hire, and train new employees.
“Without the Woodforest CEI-Boulos Opportunity Fund’s Opportunity Zone equity investment, the project would not be possible,” said J.B. Curry, Vice President of Market Rate Development, TWG Development, LLC., an established Indianapolis-based real estate development company with a proven track in conventional, workforce, senior and affordable housing/mixed-use developments around the country. “This is an example of an Opportunity Zone investment happening for the right reason and making the difference between a project going forward or not.”
The Wesmont is one of ten high-impact investments made to date by the fund. The Opportunity Zones program is a community investment tool established by Congress in 2017 to encourage long-term investments in low-income communities nationwide. Opportunity Zones are low-income census tracts nominated by governors and certified by the U.S. Department of the Treasury.
About Woodforest CEI-Boulos Opportunity Fund
The Woodforest CEI-Boulos Opportunity Fund invests in high-impact commercial real estate projects in federally designated Opportunity Zones with the goal of ensuring its investments benefit economically distressed communities where projects are located. The fund is an innovative collaboration between Woodforest National Bank, the fund’s investor, and CEI-Boulos Capital Management, LLC, the fund’s manager. The fund’s Social Impact Advisory Board provides input related to the social and environmental impacts of proposed investments by using metrics that align with goals of CRA and the “Opportunity Zones Reporting Framework” developed by a partnership of the U.S. Impact Investing Alliance, the Beeck Center on Social Impact and Innovation at Georgetown University, and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. The fund is intentional in ensuring that all investments foster community engagement and promote social equity. The fund won the 2020 BAI (Bank Administration Institute) Global Innovation Award in the “Societal and Community Impact Innovation” category.
About CEI-Boulos Capital Management
CEI-Boulos Capital Management is focused on delivering competitive financial returns and social impact through investments in community supported commercial real estate projects. The company serves banks, family offices, and other institutional investors. It is a joint venture between:
• Coastal Enterprises, Inc. (CEI)–Founded in 1977, CEI has provided loans, equity investments and tax credit financing to nearly 3,000 businesses and projects. CEI and its for-profit subsidiaries have extensive experience in regulatory compliance and fund management. More at www.ceimaine.org.
• The Boulos Company–Founded in 1975, The Boulos Company and its family of companies has extensive experience in all aspects of commercial real estate, including development, construction, brokerage, property management, and capital markets. More at www.boulos.com.
About Woodforest National Bank
Celebrating 40 years of community banking service, Woodforest National Bank has successfully stood among the strongest community banks in the nation, proudly offering outstanding customer service since 1980. Woodforest currently operates over 760 branches in 17 states across the United States and is an Outstanding CRA rated institution. For more information about Woodforest National Bank, please visit www.woodforest.com
Woodforest National Bank
Noelle St.Clair, Vice President, Impact Investing and Strategic Initiatives Manager, 856.912.3805 | firstname.lastname@example.org or Doug Schaeffer, EVP, CRA Executive Director, 212.203.1428 | email@example.com.
CEI-Boulos Capital Management
Elizabeth Rogers, Chief Communications Officer, CEI | firstname.lastname@example.org