October 23, 2023
Flanigan Square Transformation Project to Bring Affordable And Workforce Housing, Grocery Store to North Central Troy Neighborhood
Project funded through an investment from the NBT CEI-Boulos Impact Fund
TROY, NY (October 23, 2023) — The NBT CEI-Boulos Impact Fund, a high-impact commercial real investment fund established by NBT Bank and CEI-Boulos Capital Management, announced its first equity investment that will provide affordable, workforce housing and a grocery store for residents in Troy, New York.
The Flanigan Square Transformation Project is an approximately $75 million socially impactful, environmentally conscious, transit-oriented and community informed master plan, located at the 500 block of River Street along the Hudson River waterfront in the historically underinvested North Central neighborhood of Troy. The NBT CEI-Boulos Impact Fund made a $3.84 million equity investment for a majority ownership stake in two of the three components of the project.
Flanigan Square is being developed by First Columbia’s Urban Equity division, a well-established, well-respected, community-focused developer with a substantive track record, that has been working to redevelop properties situated along the waterfront of downtown Troy since 2006.
The master plan consists of three components:
- Renovation of a historic six-story office building at 545-547 River Street to create 72 units of affordable and workforce housing. In addition to the housing, the renovation includes 40,512 square feet of commercial space, including 21,451 square feet on the ground floor that will be leased to local businesses to help re-establish essential services in the North Central neighborhood. The remaining commercial space has been leased to Boston-based and community-focused Central Rock Gym for its sixth location in New York State.
- Renovation of the historic building at 558 River Street to house Bargain Grocery’s newest location. Bargain Grocery is run by the Compassion Coalition, a community service nonprofit that serves low-income households in need through a new delivery model treating everyone with dignity. The Flanigan Square Transformation Project is located within a federally designated “low-income and low–access food desert,” a status will be remedied by the opening of the grocery. Bargain Grocery purchases its inventory through a partnership with national and local vendors, purchasing food that was overproduced at a discount to resell as low prices to the public, helping prevent food waste and facilitating fresh food access for people with lower incomes.
As Mike Servello, Bargain Grocery’s founder said, “we have enough food to feed everyone, we just have a distribution problem we aim to fix.” The grocery will create 50 jobs. Bargain Grocery has one existing location in Utica and the Troy location will be its second, with plans for further expansion.
- New construction to include a 150-unit affordable living project at 549 River Street. The project will specifically aim to serve low-income senior citizens, veterans and disabled residents through both programming and design. The NBT CEI-Boulos Impact Fund is not a direct investor in this element of the project.
“When we established the NBT CEI-Boulos Impact Fund, we envisioned finding and supporting projects that would make a substantive difference in the communities we serve,” said NBT Bank Senior Director of Affordable Housing Kimberly Twitchell. “The Flanagan Square Transformation Project is a shining example of that vision, and we are honored to help play a role in bringing this well-planned development to fruition. As a community bank, NBT understands that affordable housing projects aren’t just about providing shelter, each is an investment in the future stability and prosperity of our communities.”
“CEI-Boulos Capital Management is dedicated to working with local communities to revitalize neighborhoods that have been overlooked or underinvested through impactful developments like the Flanigan Square Transformation Project,” said Sam Spencer, CEO and Managing Director of CEI-Boulos Capital Management. “The addition of 72 apartment units will increase the quality and affordability of housing in the area, and the Bargain Grocery will facilitate fresh food access in this federally designated food desert. The NBT CEI-Boulos Impact Fund is proud to be partnering with First Columbia on this truly transformative project.”
“First Columbia is very pleased to be working with the NBT CEI-Boulos team on this important watershed project, which will help bring economic development and positive change to a neighborhood that has long awaited any sizeable commercial investment” said Nathaniel Bette, Project Manager at First Columbia. “This mixed-use master plan has aligned multiple types of real estate components to work in harmony, creating effective solutions to combat poverty, inequity and, especially in North Central, food insecurity. We feel that the Flanigan Square Transformation Project will make great strides in these endeavors.”
The Flanigan Square Transformation Project will also support Troy’s Downtown Revitalization Initiative to improve the walkability and vibrancy of the Riverwalk area as a “Live, Work, Play” community. The project will partner with the city to support the extension of Troy’s Riverwalk pedestrian pathway into the North Central neighborhood, providing critical connectivity and more than seven miles of uninterrupted public pedestrian-friendly pathways and public space for community programming, while also improving public infrastructure and beautifying the land behind 545-549 River Street adjacent to the planned extension.
The transit-oriented project is centered squarely around two stops on the Central District Transit Authority (“CDTA”) Bus Plus Blue Line, which offers direct commuter access to the employment, educational and cultural opportunities in downtown Troy and Albany. There are also two bike-share stations at the site.
The Flanigan Square Transformation Project will incorporate environmental sustainability by reducing the environmental footprint of the project, taking proactive measures to help meet New York’s greenhouse gas emission reduction goals. Environmental measures planned or under consideration include a sewer separation project, use of all-electric energy-efficient appliances, and rooftop solar panels.
The project will be financed through a public-private partnership, with funding provided on the federal, state, and county levels. Additional financing partners include Empire State New Markets Corporation, Mid-City CDE, the New York State Division of Housing and Community Renewal, Foss & Co., Empire State Development, M&T Bank and a PILOT agreement with Rensselaer County.
Flanigan Square is named after Father Thomas K. Flanigan, a priest at St. Peter’s Catholic Church, which sits a few blocks away on Fifth Avenue in Troy. Father Flanigan, who was devoted to serving his community, died in 2001.
About NBT Bank
NBT Bank offers personal banking, business banking and wealth management services from locations in seven states, including New York, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine and Connecticut. The bank and its parent company, NBT Bancorp, are headquartered in Norwich, NY. NBT Bancorp had assets of $11.89 billion as of June 30, 2023 and is traded on the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the symbol NBTB. More information about NBT is available online at www.nbtbank.com. Member FDIC.
About CEI-Boulos Capital Management
CEI-Boulos Capital Management is a real estate investment fund management company focused on delivering both competitive financial returns and social impact. The company serves banks, family offices, and other institutional investors, and has a national scope. Areas of the company’s specialization include Opportunity Zones and the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA). Learn more at www.ceiboulos.com.