Pathway Lending Deploys $9.5 Million In New Markets Tax Credits to Transform Vacant Memphis High School, Catalyzing A Vibrant Community Campus And Over 450 Jobs

Project breathes new life into 270,000 square foot school building, evolving into hub for technical skills training, health care services, robust work force development, athletic and fitness opportunities and more

Pathway Lending, a Tennessee-based nonprofit, and Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), announced today its Pathway Lending CDE (a Certified Community Development Entity) has provided $9.5 million in New Markets Tax Credits (NMTC) as part of the financing package for Northside Square in Memphis.

$9.5 Million NMTC allocation promises lasting community benefits.

The Works Inc., a nonprofit community development organization, is leading the revitalization of Northside High School in the Klondike Smokey City neighborhood. Northside High School, which closed in 2016, has long been a cornerstone, weaving together community and opportunity for the people of North Memphis. Pathway’s $9.5 million is part of a larger $72 million investment into Northside Square, a pivotal component of the Moving Klondike Forward Initiative, set to anchor the neighborhood’s revitalization efforts.

Expected to open in 2024, this property will serve over 28,000 residents, offering comprehensive health care, workforce development, literacy advocacy, premiere technical skills training, athletic and fitness facilities and performing and visual arts opportunities. It will also house commercial spaces, including a coffee shop and a 7,000 square foot food hall.

The impact of this project extends far beyond physical renovation. Northside Square is committed to significant community outcomes, including job creation and retention. The initiative is set to create 320 construction jobs and 141 full-time permanent jobs, with all construction jobs paying above the living wage standards of Shelby County, Tennessee. Over 90% of jobs will offer benefits including health, dental, and vision insurance, and a 401K match.

“Pathway Lending is proud to support the transformation of Northside Square, a project poised to redefine community access and opportunity in Memphis,” says Pathway Lending EVP Hank Helton. “This $9.5MM allocation is our second New Markets Tax Credits investment in Memphis. It is another indicator of commitment to advancing equity and opportunity in under-resourced neighborhoods across the city. This investment aligns with our mission to catalyze positive and lasting impacts in communities, and the creation of 450 jobs through this project is significant.”

Established in 2000 by Congress, the NMTC Program attracts private investment to distressed communities. Since its inception through 2021, the NMTC Program has awarded $71 billion in tax credit allocations, resulting in the creation or retention of more than 938,000 jobs. It has also supported the construction of 76.9 million square feet of manufacturing space, 118.3 million square feet of office space, and 77.1 million square feet of retail space.

For every $1 invested by the federal government, the NMTC Program generates more than $8 of private investment. The NMTC Program catalyzes investment where it’s needed most – over 76% of New Markets Tax Credit investments have been made in highly distressed areas. These are communities with low median incomes and high rates of unemployment, and the NMTC investments can have a dramatic positive impact.

About Pathway Lending

Founded in 1999 and based in Nashville, Pathway Lending is a community development financial institution (CDFI) certified by the U.S. Department of the Treasury. It has grown to become a major lending institution in the Southeast, lending over half a billion dollars across Tennessee and Alabama, propelling meaningful economic growth and creating affordable housing in communities across the region.

Pathway Lending established its Community Development Entity (CDE) in 2016 with the express purpose of attracting greater New Markets Tax Credits investments to Tennessee, a state the CDFI Fund has identified as underserved by the NMTC program for many years. Pathway Lending CDE secured its first allocation in December 2021. To date, Pathway’s CDE has allocated $70 million through the NMTC program to support $306 million in total investments, retain over 1,160 existing jobs, create over 745 new permanent full-time jobs, and support 670 construction jobs in Tennessee and Alabama.