November 4, 2019 – NTCIC is pleased to announce the successful closing on historic financing for the POST Houston revitalization in downtown Houston, Texas. NTCIC syndicated the federal Historic Tax Credits (HTCs) earned by the project which generated over $23.7 million in equity. These funds will allow the project sponsors to turn the former Barbara Jordan Post Office in Houston’s downtown Arts District into a one of a kind urban ecosystem, including one of the world’s largest rooftop parks and farms.
The original Franklin Street post office headquarters and processing center was built in 1936 and provided the vast majority of postal distribution services for the Houston area. In 1960, The building was renovated and expanded in the Brutalist style that defines the majority of the existing building in the 1960s. The building was renamed after Barbara Jordan, the first African American state senator since 1883 and the first black woman to serve in that body. Lovett Commercial, the project developer, purchased the building in 2015 and began the revitalization efforts.
A New Use
The 525,000 square foot former headquarters of the Houston Post Office will become a mixed-use cultural and entertainment epicenter for the downtown area. Designed by OMA, the world-renowned architecture firm founded by Rem Koolhaas, the project will include one of Houston’s largest food halls, co-working and tech incubator space, a music and entertainment venue, designer retail, office, and one of the world’s largest rooftop parks and farms.
The rooftop farm will be operated by a local for-profit provider of sustainable and organic farm solutions in Houston. The farm is expected to yield over 50,000 pounds of organic produce per year and will offer agricultural education and year-round collaboration with the food hall chefs, resulting in a true farm to fork experience for guests.
The revitalization of POST Houston is expected to produce over 1,500 jobs during construction and over 840 full-time positions once complete. The project sponsor plans to partner with local nonprofits to provide members of nearby low-income communities interested in employment within the foodservice industry with on-site job training and career planning services.
The Mayor of Houston, Sylvester Turner, stated: “This forward-thinking development is breaking away from the traditional model by creating a cultural epicenter that brings local and international cuisine, retail, art, music, and innovation to our theatre district.” The project is part of a broader vision by the city to create a “Green Loop,” a combination of new parks, open spaces, and new commercial clusters.
By the Numbers
To capitalize the development, which anticipates completing construction in late 2020, the project sponsor used a variety of financing tools, including $23.7 million in federal HTC equity supported by NTCIC, additional state tax credits, Opportunity Zone equity, and low-cost EB-5 debt. Project financing also included NMTC allocation provided by Capital One Community Renewal Fund, PeopleFund, MBS Urban Initiatives CDE, and Prestamos with Capital One, N.A as NMTC Investor.
To learn more about the project, click here