August 7, 2023
F&M Trust is providing a significant portion of the financing for an affordable housing project in the southern end of Lancaster that broke ground on August 3. Construction at the site that was formerly home to a store called Rebman’s is scheduled to be completed in late 2024.
The 52-unit apartment building at 800 S. Queen St. will include studios, one-bedrooms, and two-bedrooms for people making less than 80% of the area’s median income. The building also will include a 6,700 square-foot grocery/convenience store with a focus on fresh and healthy items, and a rooftop garden for the use of residents.
F&M Trust has extended a construction loan of $7.5 million for the $15 million project.
“F&M Trust is proud to participate in this project. There is such a demand for affordable workforce housing in this community,” said Chip Wasson, Commercial Services Market Manager for F&M Trust. “We believe in the OZFund team’s vision to provide new, quality residences in the southern gateway of Lancaster.”
OZFund Inc. redevelops distressed properties in federal Opportunity Zones to spur economic development and job creation. There are more than 8,700 Opportunity Zones across the country, mostly in areas with low-income populations and few prospects for outside investment.
OZFund Inc. also received several grants from the state and a $1.8 million loan from the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority for the Lancaster project.
“Our business model is to design and build affordable rental properties for America’s working families,” said OZFund Inc. founder and CEO Jeremy Feakins, emphasizing the fund’s commitment to “uplifting neighborhoods and improving the lives of our working families.”
OZFund Inc. is considering similar projects in Coatesville, Pa., York, Pa., and Hagerstown, Md.
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