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Sibley Building Currently Planning $200 Million Redevelopment, But Requires New Market Tax Credits to Move Forward on Plans – In Last Year’s “Fiscal Cliff” Deal, Schumer Secured Extension & Funding of NMTC 

Now, Sibley is Applying for $40 Million in NMTC, Which is The Final Piece to Needed to Kick Start Construction 

Schumer to Lenders: Revitalizing Historic Rochester Structures Like The Sibley Building is Sound Investment – Will Create Jobs, Boost Downtown Development & Honor City’s Heritage


U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer personally met with members from leading Community Development Entities (CDE) that allocate federal New Market Tax Credits and the Sibley Building owner, WinnDevelopment, and urged the CDE’s to award the federal funding needed to make the $200 million redevelopment of the historic Sibley Building in Rochester a reality. Schumer pushed the groups to allocate federal New Market Tax Credits (NMTC), which can be sold to generate capital funding for transformative projects to Sibley that are needed to get the construction project underway. Specifically, Sibley is applying for $40 million in NMTC funding that would allow it to move forward on plans and yield an approximately $12 million in federal investment in the revitalization. Schumer said the project is ready to break ground and is just awaiting a NMTC allocation. Schumer said this these NMTC are the final piece of the puzzle that will enable the start of construction for the $200 million redevelopment of the Sibley building that will include the new University of Rochester Downtown High Tech Business Incubator Accelerator. Schumer said the project will create hundreds of jobs and restore life to one of the largest buildings in downtown Rochester. 

The meeting today is a continuation of a push Schumer originally began last year.  Previously, Schumer wrote Treasury Secretary Lew to push for federal funds to support its successful redevelopment as a mixed-use building with new housing, commercial, and retail space, which has long been seen by local leaders and developers as an essential part of revitalizing Rochester’s downtown. The Community Development Financial Institution within the Treasury Department, which oversees the NTMC program, expects to award up to $3.5 billion in NMTC allocations by spring 2015 to a number of Community Development Entities (CDE). Today, Senator Schumer met with leaders from a number of those CDEs and urged them to allocate funding to Sibley should they get an award this year.  

“The Sibley building is one of many downtown Rochester historic sites prime for redevelopment. These New Markets Tax Credits provide the key to turn the Sibley building into a modern, attractive space for investment, and unlock economic revitalization in downtown,” said Senator Schumer. “Sibley has all the parts in place to be a successful turnaround story: it has the necessary space and the right location to be the home of the University of Rochester's new High Tech Business Incubator and a hub for downtown housing and commercial real estate. We just need the capital to get the project moving and that is exactly why I am pushing the NMTC lenders to make this sound $40 million investment in Downtown Rochester – which will revitalize the Sibley building and create hundreds of good-paying, local jobs.”

“Senator Schumer has been a tireless advocate for the New Market Tax Credit program, which he's fought to preserve and successfully utilized as a catalyst for economic development,” said Joseph Eddy, Vice President for WinnDevelopment. “A strong public-partnership, with support through the New market Tax Credit program, is key to moving this innovative project forward and restoring The Sibley Building as the centerpiece of a revitalized Downtown Rochester.”

The NMTC allocation would enable the new Sibley Building owner, WinnDevelopment, to move forward with its redevelopment plans, which include the development of six floors for 106 units of market rate housing, 50,000 square feet of class A office space, 10,000 sq. ft. of retail, 2,000 sq. ft. of green roof terrace, 111 underground parking spaces and development of remaining unclaimed space for additional office and retail use.  The 12-story Sibley building boasts over 1 million sq. ft. of space on a 3.27 acres site in the heart of downtown Rochester.  Schumer explained that the massive space and key downtown location, would mean that successful redevelopment of the Sibley Building would provide a huge shot in the arm to Rochester’s economy by attracting new businesses and residents to downtown.

Since acquiring the building in 2012, WinnDevelopment has begun investments to upgrade the building’s façade, security, and internal mechanical infrastructure.  Schumer noted that Winn has a proven record of success, particularly in redeveloping large-scale historic sites like the Sibley Building and, notably, with the efficient use of New Markets Tax Credits.  WinnDevelopment successfully won $30 million in NMTC for its redevelopment of the Boott Mills complex in Lowell, Massachusetts turning what was one of the oldest surviving cotton textile mill yards in the United States into 80 units of new housing and 80,000 sq. ft. of office space that helped provide an economic engine for that city’s rebirth.  Schumer envisions the Sibley Building as a similar potential engine of economic activity for the City of Rochester.

In making his push for Sibley today, Schumer met with leaders from the New Market Tax Credit Coalition, including Bob Davenport, President, National Development Council;  Aisha Benson, Senior Vice President, TruFund Financial Services, Inc.; Amy Laughlin, Director, National New Markets Tax Credits, LIIF; Matt Josephs, Senior Vice President of Policy, LISC; Jose Villalobos, President of the NMTC Coalition and Senior Vice President of TELACU; and Bob Rapoza, President of Rapoza Associates and Spokesman for the NMTC Coalition.

Schumer has long been a champion of the NMTC program.  The program was established in 2000 with the goal of spurring economic development in low-income communities through the use of tax credits, and Schumer successfully fought to extend the New Markets Tax Credit program in the 2012 year-end fiscal cliff deal, to help leverage private investment and jump-start construction efforts in communities like Rochester. The Community Development Financial Institutions Program (CDFI) within the U.S. Treasury Department accepts applications annually for the NMTC program. Through the NMTC, Community Development Entities (CDE) such as REDCO or financial institutions like banks apply to the CDFI to receive a tax credit allocation and, if awarded an allocation, then serve as intermediaries to accept and distribute tax credit allocations. In exchange for investing in qualifying projects, individual investors and corporations can receive a tax credit on their federal income tax return, creating an incentive for individuals to invest. By selling tax credits, the CDE can raise large amounts of equity for identified economic development projects such as the redevelopment of the Sibley building.