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Fifth Third Bank Announces Chicago-based Decennial Group as Partner for $30 Million Investment in Opportunity Zones

Bank also commits $20 million with Fallbrook Multifamily as partner

Published 01-30-20

Submitted by Fifth Third Bancorp

Fifth Third Bank, National Association, announced today that Chicago-based Decennial Group will serve as a partner to help it invest $30 million in Qualified Opportunity Zones as part of its $100 million commitment announced last Friday. The funds will be used to develop projects in low-income urban and rural communities within the Bank’s footprint. The $100 million investment by Fifth Third Bank represents one of the largest made by an institution with a social impact investment strategy in Opportunity Zones.

“We are thrilled to partner with Decennial to work on Qualified Opportunity Zones in Chicago and throughout Illinois and the Midwest,” said Mitchell Feiger, regional chairman and CEO of Fifth Third Bank, Chicago. “With this agreement in place, Decennial Group is working to immediately identify qualified development opportunities in Chicago and other Midwest markets. The group’s goal is to deploy Fifth Third’s capital and accelerate market activity in order to create high-quality, affordable housing. Fifth Third expects to make a substantial commitment to Illinois with this program.”

Decennial Group is a vertically integrated investment management and development platform that will manage the assets for a minimum of 10 years, consistent with the requirements of investments made in Qualified Opportunity Zone locations.

“Decennial Group was created to lead pioneering investments in underserved communities,” said Bob Clark, Decennial Managing Partner and Clayco CEO. “This partnership with Fifth Third will allow us to make a significant impact in Qualified Opportunity Zones in Chicago, the state of Illinois, and throughout the Midwest. We intend to bring the full impact of Decennial’s financial, operational, and industry expertise to create projects that help transform underinvested neighborhoods into affordable, vibrant, and thriving communities.”

Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot said, “We thank Fifth Third and Decennial Group for partnering with the City to create inclusive growth and committing to bring measurable, lasting investment to areas of Chicago with the greatest need. This will further our common goal of ensuring that INVEST South/West community corridors receive strategic investments, enhancing the quality of life and economic growth to benefit all our neighbors.”

Designed to spur long-term private sector investment into economic development and job creation in economically distressed communities, Opportunity Zones were established as part of the 2017 Tax Cut and Jobs Act to promote investment and development in a significant number of qualified low-income census tracts. Investment projects will need to satisfy the following Fifth Third social impact criteria:

  • Located in a qualified Opportunity Zone

  • Public welfare investment eligible

  • Project will be developed by an experienced, credit-worthy sponsor

  • Located in an MSA where Fifth Third has determined community need under the CRA

  • Actionable before the end of June 2020

  • Expected to generate a positive economic return

  • Offers opportunities to expand relationships with the bank

The $100 million investment will be used in three key investment categories: affordable housing; workforce housing and other community priorities for multifamily development; and certain non-residential or mixed-use real estate serving a particular community need, as well as projects that contribute to local job and business growth.

“We are honored to further expand our working relationship with Fifth Third’s Community Development group. Fifth Third continues to be our most valued partner and their commitment to improving lives in the communities they serve sets an example for other banks to follow,” said Brandt Blanken, president of Fallbrook Multifamily Investments. Fallbrook Multifamily also was named as a partner, with a $20 million commitment by the Bank to the Fallbrook Opportunity Zone Fund II.

On Friday, January 24, Fifth Third announced it would partner with National Equity Fund, an affiliate of the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), with a $25 million commitment and Raymond James with a $25 million commitment.

“We are very excited about today’s announcement and what it means for Chicago and Illinois,” said Meghan Harte, executive director of Chicago LISC. “LISC is helping Fifth Third break new ground on Opportunity Zones throughout the country with the assistance of National Equity Fund, and on a local level in Chicago, Decennial Group is a strong partner who can bring important projects to the city, state, and Midwest as a whole. We applaud Fifth Third’s novel approach that taps the experience of four different partners, with a focus on achieving impact with every investment.”

Fifth Third Opportunity Zone investment projects that are currently being considered include the redevelopment of affordable and workforce housing with a minimum of 51% of the units are targeted to families with income at or below 80% of the area median income; forming a partnership with a housing authority organization to bring a grocery store to a food desert; investment in neighborhoods that are part of larger strategic growth initiatives in various cities; community centers for public housing residents and creating a commercial kitchen for use by small business entrepreneurs.

The first projects from the Fifth Third Opportunity Zone investments will be announced during the second half of 2020.

About Fifth Third Bancorp
Fifth Third Bancorp is a diversified financial services company headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio and the indirect parent company of Fifth Third Bank, National Association, a federally chartered institution. As of December 31, 2019, Fifth Third had $169 billion in assets and operated 1,149 full-service banking centers and 2,481 ATMs with Fifth Third branding in Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, Florida, Tennessee, West Virginia, Georgia and North Carolina. In total, Fifth Third provides its customers with access to approximately 53,000 fee-free ATMs across the United States. Fifth Third operates four main businesses: Commercial Banking, Branch Banking, Consumer Lending and Wealth & Asset Management. Fifth Third is among the largest money managers in the Midwest and, as of December 31, 2019, had $413 billion in assets under care, of which it managed $49 billion for individuals, corporations and not-for-profit organizations through its Trust and Registered Investment Advisory businesses. Investor information and press releases can be viewed at www.53.com. Fifth Third’s common stock is traded on the Nasdaq® Global Select Market under the symbol “FITB.” Fifth Third Bank was established in 1858. Deposit and Credit products are offered by Fifth Third Bank, National Association. Member FDIC.

About Decennial Group
Decennial Group is a vertically integrated investment management and development platform comprised of a unique team of best-in-class developers, real estate and energy investors, builders, and regulatory experts. Among the first bespoke investment platforms in the opportunity zone marketplace, Decennial Group is focused on scalable, long-term investments that can revitalize neighborhoods throughout the country, with an emphasis on the American Heartland. For more information, please visit the Decennial Group at www.decennialgroup.com.

About Fallbrook Multifamily
Fallbrook Multifamily Investments, LLC is a real estate investment firm focusing nationwide on the development and preservation of affordable multifamily properties.  Fallbrook’s mission is to develop, acquire, provide and preserve quality affordable housing while supplying exceptional management to partners and tenants as well as delivering stable returns to investors.

The majority of Fallbrook’s investment properties are supported by federal and state programs such as the Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) and HUD’s project based Section 8 program, which provide much needed housing to qualifying tenants, operate at traditionally high occupancy rates, provide reliable income, and deliver predictable revenue growth. For more information, please visit www.fallbrookmultifamily.com

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