Albany, NY- The Community Loan Fund is proud to announce that is has been awarded $800,000 through Round XIII of the New York State Regional Economic Development Council Initiative. Round XIII included grant funds from Empire State Development (ESD) and was made available on a competitive basis to support the immediate needs of communities across the state. This $800,000 award from ESD will allow the Community Loan Fund to fund the first phase of construction for the Capital Region Community Investment Trust site at 153 S. Pearl Street.
The Capital Region Community Investment Trust (CIT) seeks to strengthen Albany’s South End by empowering residents to purchase commercial real estate in their own neighborhood and work together to determine the highest and best use of the property. Through collaboration and following completion of the Community Loan Fund’s “Owing to Owning Program”, residents are able to turn their affordable investment shares, $10 to $100 monthly, into big buying power and real change in their neighborhood. Ultimately, residents will own 100% of the 153 S. Pearl Street building and determine what businesses and services they would like in the space.
With these allocated funds, the Community Loan Fund will continue renovating and modernizing the CIT building. Improvements include installation of an elevator to allow easy access to all four floors, adding restrooms to all floors, as well as replacing the decades old roof on the structure.
“The Community Loan Fund is extremely grateful to Governor Hochul and the team at Empire State Development for this generous grant, which will have a transformative impact on the neighborhood through this project.” said Linda MacFarlane, Executive Director of the Community Loan Fund.
“This project follows the previous established Community Investment Trust model in Portland, Oregon, which saw a rapidly aging strip mall turn into a community hub for small businesses and non-profit organizations offering key services to the residents within the community. We are confident that this model will bring the same level of impact to the South End neighborhood.”
Empire State Development President. CEO and Commissioner Hope Knight said, “We are pleased to support The Community Loan Fund as they transform this underutilized commercial space in the South End of Albany. This project will empower residents to revitalize their neighborhood which will attract local business and grow their community.”
Lieutenant Governor Antonio Delgado, Chair of the Regional Economic Development Councils, said, “The Regional Economic Development Councils continue to help connect strategic investments to historically distressed communities throughout New York State. Through this process of identifying and funding shovel-ready projects that align with REDC strategic plans and goals, the funding goes where it’s needed and where it will have the biggest impact. By working closely with the REDCs, I know that these awards will make a difference in growth, jobs and educational opportunities for so many New Yorkers.”