- Kenton Tsoodle
Alliance recognized by ULI Impact Award for team effort developing new Homeland grocery
ULI Oklahoma hosted a celebration to recognize some of the most impactful economic development projects that have skillfully balanced new development, sustainable land use and intelligent urbanization. The Impact Awards honored winners in seven categories, visionaries who see a better use for an empty lot, use development to meet key needs in our community and ensure development or restoration creates more vibrant neighborhoods.
Accepting the award for developing the Homeland grocery store at NE 36th and Lincoln was the highest and best affirmation for the staff at The Alliance for Economic Development of Oklahoma City. Opening this store broke a barrier. Now, residents in northeast Oklahoma City have access to fresh groceries, a basic necessity that’s been missing from their neighborhoods for more than 20 years.
The store is also significant because it’s one of the first public-private partnerships where the Alliance acted as the project developer; with a process so complex that the time and resources required to gather financial partners, apply for tax credits and acquire the land made the project unfeasible for private development. We partnered with two other entities to develop the project: Milwaukee-based Endeavor Corp, whom Alliance staff sought out for their specialty in developing distressed areas, and Northeast Equity Investment Group.
The Alliance worked with the city of Oklahoma City to acquire the land by swapping parcels with the Commissioners of the Land Office and buying adjoining land from OG&E. Our staff secured new market tax credits from U.S. Bank and Heartland Renaissance Fund, utilized tax increment financing, applied a social impact loan from Metafund’s Impact Accelerator and secured private financing and investors passionate about northeast OKC. We oversaw the construction, and the LLC owns the store with a long-term lease to Homeland/HAC.
The Impact Awards also recognized the Convention Center for “Outstanding Public Initiative,” New Page West (Page Woodson) was nominated for Large Scale Development and Oklahoma Contemporary won for Large Scale Development.
The list of nominees, honorees and exemplary projects honor our city’s history, bring new vibrancy to key areas and positively impact our communities and the quality of our lives. The Alliance has assisted many of these projects with advice and support for use, location, land or financing assistance and it’s rewarding to see them honored.