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June 10, 2024

NBT CEI-Boulos Impact Fund Celebrates the Opening of Bargain Grocery,An Anchor Tenant for the Flanigan Square Transformation Project in North Central Troy

TROY, NY (June 10, 2024) — On June 7, the NBT CEI-Boulos Impact Fund, a high-impact commercial real investment fund established by NBT Bank and CEI-Boulos Capital Management, celebrated the grand opening of Bargain Grocery at 558 River Street, part of the Flanigan Square Transformation Project in Troy, New York.

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. 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. Bargain Grocery has one existing location in Utica and the Troy location will be its second. The Troy location is expected to create 50 new jobs.

The Bargain Grocery’s new location is part of the Flanigan Square Transformation Project, 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 success of the Bargain Grocery will be supported by the upcoming phases of the Flanigan Square Transformation Project, including the currently under construction renovation of a historic six-story office building at 545-547 River Street to create 72 units of affordable and workforce housing and 40,512 square feet of commercial space. A third phase involves new construction of affordable senior housing.   The NBT CEI-Boulos Impact Fund made a $3.84 million equity investment for a majority ownership stake in the 545-547 River Street and 558 River Street historic redevelopments. 

The access to fresh and affordable food to be provided by Bargain Grocery is complimentary to Troy’s Downtown Revitalization Initiative to improve the walkability and vibrancy of the Riverwalk area as a “Live, Work, Play” community and remedies the neighborhood’s status as a federally designated “low-income and low–access food desert.” The transit-oriented location is centered squarely around two stops on the Central District Transit Authority (“CDTA”) Bus Plus Blue Line, and two bike-share stations at the site further increases access.

Flannigan 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.

“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 Capital District Commercial Regional Executive Al Testa. “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. The opening of Bargain Grocery, along with the development of affordable housing, is a demonstration of the power of investment in our communities. Financial commitment to projects like the Flanagan Square Transformation help ensure that all residents can meet their needs for food and housing with agency and dignity.”

“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 opening of Bargain Grocery, along with the future addition of 72 apartment units will increase the quality of life for the local community, in particular for residents with low incomes, by increasing access to quality food and housing at affordable prices. 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 is being 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 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

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