COVINGTON, Ky. (May 11, 2012) – The Catalytic Development Fund Corp. of Northern Kentucky has reached its initial fundraising goal of $10 million thanks to recent investment commitments from PNC Bank and Fifth Third’s Community Development Corporation (CDC).
PNC increased to $2.5 million its initial investment of $2 million and Fifth Third committed $1 million.
“This is a tremendous milestone for the Catalytic Fund and for Northern Kentucky,” said Jeanne Schroer, the fund’s executive director. “We thank PNC, Fifth Third and all of the fund’s investors for believing in and supporting the Fund’s mission and goals and for believing in our community.
“This money will be invested in the development of high quality market rate real estate development projects in Northern Kentucky’s Ohio River basin communities – Covington, Newport, Ludlow, Bellevue and Dayton,” Schroer said.
Corporex Companies founder and CEO Bill Butler was the first investor of the Catalytic Fund and now serves as its chairman. The fund’s mission is to accelerate Northern Kentucky’s urban renaissance through targeted investments in catalytic real estate development and redevelopment projects in urban neighborhoods. The intended results of these investments are:
• A diverse and vibrant housing market providing a mix of housing types and price ranges.
• Attraction and retention of businesses to provide jobs and services for city residents.
• Elimination of blight to prevent and reverse neighborhood decline.
• More retail, dining and entertainment options for residents and visitors.
• The repopulation of the urban core resulting in tax base growth and wealth creation.
“Since its inception in 1989, the Fifth Third Community Development Corporation (CDC) has invested over $2 billion in more than 500 viable community development projects throughout Fifth Third Bancorp’s footprint,” said Catherine Cawthon, Fifth Third CDC President. “We’re proud to support the Catalytic Development Fund as they work to revitalize residential and commercial real estate along one of this region’s greatest assets, the Northern Kentucky communities on the banks of the Ohio River.”
Covington Mayor Chuck Scheper, who also serves as Catalytic Fund’s vice chairman, was co-leader of the Urban Renaissance Team of Vision 2015 that recommended creation of a Catalytic Fund to stimulate more development in the urban core.
“Bill Butler’s initial $1 million pledge has helped to convince a number of other investors to commit, allowing us to reach our target,” Scheper said. “We hope that this $10 million fund will be leveraged for up to $100 million in developments in the urban core of Northern Kentucky.
“As mayor of Covington, I am very excited about the prospect of leveraging a number of the vacant properties that the city owns with more comprehensive development opportunities supported by the Catalytic Fund,” Scheper said. “These projects will help to convert assets that currently are a drain to the city’s resources into quality market-rate housing opportunities in our urban core.”
Scheper also lauded the leadership of Schroer, a former Corporex executive experienced in financing and developing projects.
The fund’s investors and the amount each have invested are:
• PNC Bank, $2.5 million.
• Bank of Kentucky, $1 million.
• Central Bank, $1 million.
• Corporex, $1 million.
• Duke Energy, $1 million.
• Fifth Third Community Development Corporation, $1 million
• First Financial Bank, $1 million
• U.S. Bank, $1 million.
• The Carol Ann and Ralph Haile U.S. Bank Foundation, $500,000.
While these recent commitments by PNC and the Fifth Third CDC allow the Catalytic Fund to commence its investment activities, the organization hopes to grow the fund to $20 million.