Vermont Press Releases

Mascoma Community Development closes $4.4 million new markets tax credits to revitalize Putnam Block in downtown Bennington

News Release — Mascoma Community Development
June 17, 2019

Dick Jennings
Managing Director
Mascoma Community Development
(603) 443-8781
[email protected]

Bennington, VT (June 17, 2019) – Mascoma Community Development (MCD) is pleased to announce the successful closing of $4.4 million in New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) allocation to support the renovation of 3 historic buildings in downtown Bennington, VT. The former Hotel Putnam, Old Courthouse, and Winslow
Building will be converted into mixed-use commercial space that includes a health clinic, social service
healthcare providers, a local bookshop, café, restaurant, potter, office space, and retail space tailored to support a local grocer. Additionally, 22 residential apartments will be constructed, with six of the units supporting low-income individuals. The completion of these neighborhood enrichments will revitalize a key downtown block that has been largely vacant for many years.

“The Putnam Block project is a cornerstone re-development for this rural community and has required an
array of financing sources to become feasible. Our NMTC financing is one of many financing sources that
has allowed this project to come to life, along with debt from Mascoma Bank. We are pleased to be a part
of this project and look forward to its long-lasting impact for downtown Bennington” said Dick Jennings,
Managing Director of Mascoma Community Development.

MCD is a Community Development Entity established by Mascoma Bank to enhance, strengthen and
revitalize low-income communities through the creation of quality jobs and community services. MCD
stimulates economic opportunities for low-income residents throughout the northeast United States,
especially with investment in catalytic downtown redevelopment and business expansion projects.

The rehabilitation of the three vacant historical buildings will transform 74,000 square feet of space into an economically vibrant community center and is orchestrated through the Bennington Redevelopment
Group, LLC – a consortium of local business owners, institutions, and investors with a vision and mission to reinvigorate the downtown climate. Further, the renovation of the three buildings is part of a three-
phase overall development that will bring back to life the dormant cornerstone – restoring additional vacant or underutilized buildings, giving each a new purpose that blends cohesively with the first phase.
The facility is located in a severely distressed census tract within the community of Bennington, Vermont
experiencing a 25.4% poverty rate and median income 48.1% of the area’s median. In addition to the $4.4
million in NMTC allocation from Mascoma Community Development, U.S. Bancorp Community Development Corporation, served as the project’s tax credit investor for the NMTC allocation provided.

MCD’s allocation was also supported by $20.6 million of NMTC allocation by two partner CDE’s that, together, provided the subsidy needed to complete the project.

Mascoma Community Development was awarded NMTC Allocation from the Community Development
Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI Fund), a branch of the U.S. Treasury department. Using its tax credit
allocation, Mascoma seeks to provide low-cost, flexible financing to businesses throughout the United
States. Mascoma prioritizes its projects by those that create high-quality jobs, revitalize downtown areas, and have a high degree of support from the communities in which the projects are located. Mascoma
Bank is a $1.8 billion mutual community bank and a Certified B-Corp with 26 branches in NH and VT with
a loan office in ME and is the controlling entity to Mascoma Community Development. The bank has a
120-year track record of serving residents, businesses, and communities and is based in northern New
England.


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