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Federal Reserve Bank of Boston
Public and Community Affairs Discussion Papers
The case for the community partner in economic development
Anna Steiger
Tessa Hebb
Lisa A. Hagerman

Community-based organizations promote economic development by assembling investments in affordable housing, mixed-use real estate, community facilities, and small business in specific geographies. A principal way that community-based organizations tap institutional investors for deals is by partnering with investment intermediaries who manage the risk of these transactions by pooling assets, spreading risk across investors, and pricing the transaction up to the associated risk. Such a partnership allows an investment intermediary, or what the industry calls an “investment vehicle,” to use its expertise to structure a deal that delivers high financial returns to the institutional investor while allowing the community-based organization, or “community partner,” to ensure that the investment provides a community benefit. ; In this paper, we argue that both sets of actors are necessary to achieve revitalized communities. Communities need to be able to tap into large-scale investment opportunities made possible by institutional investors while simultaneously ensuring that community residents benefit from such investment. We develop case studies of two investment vehicles and their community partners: the first investment vehicle we examine is the Urban Strategies America Fund, a for-profit urban development real estate fund in Boston; the second is Coastal Enterprises, Inc., of Portland, Maine, a not-for-profit community development corporation with for-profit investment subsidiaries.

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Anna Steiger & Tessa Hebb & Lisa A. Hagerman, The case for the community partner in economic development, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, Public and Community Affairs Discussion Papers 2007-5, 2007.
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Keywords: Community development ; Community development - Maine ; Community development - Massachusetts
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