Creating space and opportunity for minority entrepreneurs and businesses to flourish is at the core of LISC’s mission. And partnering with those already up and running is a great way to start.
So when THOR Companies, Minnesota’s largest minority-owned business, decided to move the construction firm’s headquarters from the suburbs to a half-vacant intersection in the near north side of Minneapolis, LISC understood an important opportunity for the community was on the horizon. As it turned out, LISC was critical to propelling the project forward, too.
THOR’s new headquarters will be part of a $36 million Regional Acceleration Center, creating more than 76,000 square feet of office space, 16,000 square feet of retail and 600-plus underground parking places for NorthPoint Health & Wellness patients and clients. This collaboration with NorthPoint, Hennepin County, Target and many others is designed to spark economic and social activity in a historically high-poverty area with an unemployment rate more than three times the national average. It also aims to bring high quality, easily accessible health care to the community.
In late 2016, THOR was asked to develop a parking facility for NorthPoint’s $67 million expansion, but in order to accommodate the health center’s timeline, THOR needed to begin construction before the end of the year. After running into some financing roadblocks, the construction company approached LISC.
LISC helped deliver a creative financing solution that none of the private lenders or investors could provide on their own. LISC’s nearly $10 million investment helped leverage an additional $26 million in private and public financing on the project. And LISC’s preliminary financing commitment allowed THOR to begin construction immediately on the NorthPoint parking ramp, which was critical to moving the whole development forward.
The THOR project is expected to create 110 construction jobs and 87 permanent living-wage jobs. And THOR is committed to hiring from within the neighborhood and has a goal of drawing 1/4 of its workforce from North Minneapolis. Moreover, THOR is aiming to include 40 percent participation of minority-, disadvantaged- and women-owned businesses in the construction of the project.
That’s what opportunity looks like.
Image credit: THOR Companies
Private Sector Support
Public Sector Support
Executive Director: Andriana Abariotes
570 Asbury Street, Suite 207
St. Paul, MN 55104