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Economic Development Partners Announce Major Revitalization Project for Greenville, Mississippi

Mixed-use redevelopment of downtown Sears Department Store will create jobs, increase the local tax base and stimulate economic growth

March 15, 2016 Greenville , AL

The City of Greenville, developer Bill Boykin, Guaranty Bank and Trust Company, U.S. Bancorp Community Development Corporation and Enhanced Community Development, a subsidiary of Enhanced Capital, announced today their plans to redevelop the former Sears Department Store and three adjacent buildings in downtown Greenville, a project four years in the making that will provide an estimated 36 permanent jobs, along with 75 construction jobs, and is anticipated to spur additional economic development in the area.

Once considered the “Queen of the Delta,” Greenville is the heart and soul of the Mississippi River Delta. Unfortunately Greenville has faced some challenging economic realities, and area leaders are focused on efforts to create job opportunities and encourage greater growth. The redevelopment of the shuttered Sears Roebuck & Company store, which was built in the 1940s, and adjacent vacant buildings in downtown Greenville marks a major step forward.

“Redevelopment of the historic Sears Building will be a major step forward in the revitalization and reemergence of our downtown as a place for business, education and entertainment,” Greenville Mayor Errick Simmons said. “This building will become a showcase property, as it stands in the heart of downtown and is the first major revitalization project to utilize the municipal tax abatements for buildings in the central business district. I applaud Bill Boykin, Guaranty Bank and Trust, U.S. Bancorp Community Development Corporation and Enhanced Community Development for their collaborative efforts in this project and encourage others to come to our downtown to open up their businesses.”

The $9.1 million project was financed in part by federal New Markets Tax Credit allocation, Mississippi state New Markets Tax Credit allocation, and state and federal Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credits.

When renovations are completed in July 2017, the property will contain retail space, a health-care component, microbrewery and full restaurant, boutique hotel, and co-working space to support and incubate local entrepreneurs. In addition, some New Markets Tax Credit proceeds will fund improvements at nearby Stein Mart Park.

“Having worked on this project for the past four years, I’m excited to turn the page in downtown Greenville and finally reopen these vacant buildings,” developer Bill Boykin said. “Significant support from programs such as New Markets Tax Credits gave us the ability to move forward, setting the stage for additional revitalization in Greenville.”

“The funding process has been a labor of love for many reasons,” said Andy Dixon, Senior Vice President and Relationship Banker at Guaranty Bank and Trust, Greenville. “We are reflecting our long legacy of investing in the lives of families and business owners across the region, just as we have since 1943. In our role as a true community bank, opportunities such as this allow us to serve as a catalyst for projects that enhance the quality of life we share in Greenville and to take another step in downtown revitalization.”

The federal and Mississippi New Markets Tax Credit programs were designed to encourage private capital investment in areas of economic distress, to create jobs and catalyze additional economic activity. Federal and state Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credits support the rehabilitation of historically significant buildings.

“The Delta’s long economic struggle will take a substantial step forward with the development of the Sears project and adjacent buildings,” said Tom Oldenburg, vice president of U.S. Bancorp Community Development Corporation, a subsidiary of U.S. Bank. “Greenville will flourish thanks to the involvement of the New Markets Tax Credits and these committed partners.”

“Enhanced Capital proudly participates in economic development projects in locations across the United States,” said Richard Montgomery, Vice President of Enhanced Community Development. “New Markets Tax Credits and Historic Tax Credits were critical to making the Sears Department Store project a reality. These programs are making a positive impact for so many communities, and we are excited for the positive impact this project will make for the people of Greenville.”

An event to celebrate the redevelopment project is planned for March 24, 2016. The property is located at 517 Washington Ave. in Greenville.