Minority Business Enterprise development firm, Mosaic Development Partners, run by Leslie Smallwood-Lewisand partner, Gregory Reaves, has been a long-standing client of PIDC. As a Philadelphia-based real estate development company that identifies real estate projects with the potential to bring positive change to a community, Mosaic Development Partners has worked with PIDC on various projects over the years.
Mosaic Development Partners was established in 2008 with the intention to help revitalize neighborhoods and marginalized communities. Working through one of the most difficult economic recessions, its founders, Leslie and Gregory, remained persistent, faithful, and focused. They focus on building new ideas, especially in locations where solutions aren’t obvious. Mosaic Development Partners built their business doing small and medium deals in distressed neighborhoods around Philadelphia, often partnering with larger developers that had bigger balance sheets and greater liquidity.
Mosaic Development Partners’ breakthrough deal was 2014’s $13 million Edison Square project in North Philadelphia, which repurposed the blighted 3.6-acre, 500,000 square foot abandoned Edison High School site into Phase 1, a shopping center anchored by a supermarket in a known food desert, and Phase 2, a 66-unit 9% LIHTC project for homeless veterans. PIDC provided $8 million in New Markets Tax Credit allocation as well as an additional subordinate loan to get this transformational project to completion.
Mosaic Development Partners followed that success with the $8 million award-winning Eastern Lofts project in Philadelphia’s Strawberry Mansion neighborhood. Using Federal Historic Tax Credits, New Markets Tax Credits from PIDC, and senior loan lending by LISC, Mosaic Development Partners rehabbed the 30-year vacant Railway Express building, creating 37 residences, a parking garage, eight office spaces, a community-based childcare center, and a coffee shop.
After years of working on multiple projects, it was a natural fit for Mosaic Development Partners to work with PIDC on structuring financing for their most recent project — the Golaski Labs project — the first project that PIDC is investing in which also has secured capital through an Opportunity Fund investment. After hearing buzz about Opportunity Zones for months in the summer of 2018, Mosaic Development Partners figured out that four of their pipeline projects were in Opportunity Zones—including Golaski Labs. As a medium-sized developer, Mosaic Development Partners can’t easily buy and hold properties. That meant most of the deal needed to be choreographed and planned out ahead of time. Over the next few months, Mosaic Development Partners worked with PIDC and went back and forth with the Golaski family to outline the deal ultimately defined in the early fall of 2018.
Golaski Labs is a $7.5 million 45,000 square foot mixed-use development located in a designated Opportunity Zone census tract within the historic Philadelphia community of Wayne Junction. Mosaic Development Partners will convert the property into a mixed-use commercial and residential development. PIDC invested an allocation of New Markets Tax Credits into the project based on its strong community impacts, which provide a significant subsidy that made the economics of the deal possible, while the developer leveraged the project’s location within a qualified Opportunity Zone to attract a new type of equity investor to the deal.
Mosaic Development Partners are an exemplary development firm revitalizing Philadelphia communities. Building with community and cultural sensitivity in mind, they hire professionals and others who have been historically excluded from the industry and seek to bring solid returns to investors and lenders. Learn more about Mosaic Development Partners and their work at https://www.mosaicdp.com