TOTAL PROJECT $7.3 million
FCLF NMTC ALLOCATION $2.05 million
Grocery Store in USDA Food Desert
26,000 square feet
53 Permanent and 80 Temporary Jobs
"We are the only grocery store and pharmacy serving this community and the surrounding area for several miles in all directions, and FCLF is a part of that. It would have been difficult to complete this project without your support." – Chris Sylvester, CFO, Haug Companies
In the small rural city of Old Town, Florida, in eastern Dixie County, there was only one grocery store available for area residents. In an aging building of more than 30 years old, this small Hitchcock's Market was doing its best to bring fresh, healthy foods to the neighborhood in an area recognized as a Food Desert by the USDA.
However, the owners of this location had a vision. Using the NMTC Program, Hometown Supermarkets, LLC, built a new Hitchcock's Market on land adjacent to the existing store. This brand new facility:
- Nearly doubles the size of the former store, to 26,000 square feet
- Increases capacity to serve up to 50% more area residents
- Upgrades equipment, such as coolers, freezers, bakery and deli equipment
- Improves the area's economic vitality by offering additional land for retail
- Employs an estimated 53 permanent positions and created 80 temporary construction jobs
The new store moved from its original location on a local road to a nearby 12-acre site on U.S. Highway 19, which also created a higher visibility and ease of access for customers.
Hometown Supermarkets, LLC, operates a chain of 10 Hitchcock's Markets in North Florida. The company is a 3rd generation family-owned organization, started in 1972 in Minnesota. The company currently owns and operates grocery stores in Florida, Minnesota, and Wisconsin.
The impact of providing a new, updated grocery store that can continue to bring healthy, fresh foods to a rural area is significant and meets FCLF's goal of investing in fresh food access. Florida Community Loan Fund provided $2.05 million in New Markets Tax Credit allocation for this $7.3 million project. In addition to offering fresh foods and groceries to an enlarged customer base, the economic development impact is valuable as the project creates jobs and stimulates additional business at the site.
INVESTOR: US Bancorp Community Development Corporation
LENDER: US Bank, NA and Hometown Supermarkets, LLC
ADDITIONAL STATE AND FEDERAL NMTCs: Stonehenge Capital
This transaction was finalized in August 2013.
Pictured below left, the old Hitchcock's Market in Old Town, FL. Center, produce section of the new Hitchcock's Market. Right, site plan for the new Hitchcock's Market in Old Town.