January 11, 2019
PRUDENTIAL FINANCIAL CHOOSES YARD 56 FOR ITS FIRST OPPORTUNITY ZONE INVESTMENT TO DRIVE CATALYTIC REVITALIZATION IN BALTIMORE, MARYLAND
Baltimore, MD (January 11, 2019) – Prudential Financial’s Impact Investments group announced today that it has selected Phase I of Yard 56 in East Baltimore for its first Qualified Opportunity Zone Investment.
Yard 56 is a transformative mixed-use project which is approved for more than 2.2 million square feet located in East Baltimore directly across Eastern Avenue from the Johns Hopkins Hospital Bayview Medical Center. The project is the culmination of several years of engagement with the surrounding Greektown and Bayview communities, the City of Baltimore’s economic development agency (Baltimore Development Corporation) and the City’s planning office.
“This project is a once in a generation opportunity to remove a sign of urban decay immediately across the street from one of Baltimore’s most important institutions, while bringing needed services and jobs to a neglected area of Baltimore,” said Daryl Shore, transaction lead from Prudential’s Impact Investments group. “We are committed to the long-term partnership with MCB Real Estate on this historic reinvigoration of East Baltimore.”
“On behalf of Baltimore City, I want to express our excitement and appreciation of Prudential’s sizeable investment in MCB Real Estate’s Yard 56 project in East Baltimore,” said Mayor Catherine E. Pugh. “The City is committed to maximizing the unique potential the Opportunity Zone program presents to spur a new era of neighborhood investment. We are thrilled that an important, catalytic project such as Yard 56 is able to benefit from Prudential’s Opportunity Zone Fund.”
The first Phase of the project is slated to include more than 80,000 square feet of grocery anchored retail space, and 100,000 square feet of office space. MCB Real Estate commenced demolition and a substantial environmental remediation of the former Porcelain and Enamel Manufacturing Company site (known as “PEMCO”) in the spring of 2018 and expects to deliver the first buildings by the end of 2019.
“MCB has been at this project for a long time, so we are really humbled by Prudential’s willingness to step up and be part of major change here in Baltimore. By providing crucial capital, and bringing their expertise of catalytic urban redevelopment, they continue to help create inclusive economic growth in a major urban city,” commented P. David Bramble, managing partner of MCB. “While MCB works with many institutional investors, the significance of the selection of Yard 56, Baltimore, and the State of Maryland for Prudential’s Impact Investments first opportunity zone investment cannot be understated; we have to credit the leadership of Governor Hogan and Mayor Pugh for focusing on how Opportunity Zones can help drive growth in the city.”
MCB Real Estate recently announced the additions of Chipotle, Brass Tap Craft Beer Bar, Top Coat and Panda Express to Phase I of Yard 56. These businesses join retail anchors Streets Market grocery store (www.streetsmarketcafe.com) and national fitness operator LA Fitness with more than 700 clubs across the United Stated and Canada, who selected Yard 56 as their first location in Baltimore City (www.lafitness.com).
In addition to the Opportunity Zone commitment from Prudential, the retail component of Yard 56 received New Markets Tax Credits from an affiliate of Mid-City Community CDE LLC and first mortgage commitment from Columbia Bank, a division of Fulton Bank. The New Markets Tax credits were purchased by U.S. Bank.
The total estimated project cost for Phase I is approximately $77 million dollars with a total build out of more than $150 million dollars. MCB Real Estate is currently underway with multiple Opportunity Zone projects (including future phases of Yard 56).
Prudential Financial, Inc., a financial services leader, helps customers grow and protect their wealth through life insurance, annuities, retirement-related services, mutual funds and investment management. Founded on the belief that financial security should be within everyone’s reach, Prudential has been a pioneer in impact investing and is building a $1 billion portfolio of investments that combines both social and financial return.