The management of the American South Real Estate Fund II (ASREF II) Fund, an impact fund focused on revitalizing distressed communities of color throughout the South, today announced the $28 million close of initial funding to support their launch of the American South Real Estate Fund II (ASREF II). This Fund will invest in ten Southern states: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas.
ASREF II seeks to follow the successful impact investment strategy of American South Real Estate Fund I (ASREF I), which was launched by American South Fund Management, LLC (ASFM), a partnership formed six years ago by Los Angeles-based SDS Capital Group and Vintage Realty Company of Shreveport, LA.
The first close of ASREF II, at $28 million total, includes Bank of the Ozarks, Cadence Bank, and Texas Capital Bank.
“We are proud to invest our capital toward revitalizing emerging, diverse communities in the South,” said Eric Gustafson, Investment Relationship Manager, Bank of the Ozarks.
ASREF II will invest in projects located in emerging urban or secondary markets that demonstrate strong redevelopment and growth potential. ASREF II will finance multifamily, industrial, office, educational, and medical projects in various communities within their 10-state target market locations.
“Our initial ASREF I fund has proven that we can invest in underserved communities and achieve both our beneficial impact goals as well as the desired financial returns for our investors. We are grateful to our investors for supporting our efforts to ‘make a difference’ in emerging, diverse communities,” said ASFM Managing Partner Deborah La Franchi, Founder and CEO, SDS Capital Group, which manages a number of impact funds in various markets across the US.
ASREF II reaches out to project sponsors across the South who need preferred equity or equity for their real estate projects. A key criterion for every investment is that it must achieve strong impacts such as the revitalization of a low-income community, the creation of employment opportunities, development of low-income or workforce housing as well as the provision of health care, education and other services that benefit the local communities. ASREF II’s project funding ranges from $7.5 – $20 million per project.
SREF I financed 15 projects throughout the South, investing in communities with an average demographic of 80% minority (51% African American) and a 36% poverty rate. The provision of housing for low-income families has been another central impact of ASREF-funded projects. ASREF I financed the construction of more than 1,900 housing units — 84% of which are affordable for residents at or below 60% of Area Median Income. The 15 Fund investments also created 336 permanent jobs (72% of which are accessible to low-income persons/low-income community residents) and revitalized 8 blighted or abandoned buildings, many of which became catalytic redevelopments within historic districts.
Full press release: http://www.sdsgroup.com/