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An investment fund led by one of the country’s largest community development organizations invests in Syracuse’s first all-minority-led commercial development

Syracuse, NY 10/12/22 – Salina 1st is proud to announce it has closed a $1 million investment from the Local Initiatives Support Corporation’s (LISC) Black Economic Development Fund (BEDF) for its five-story, mixed-use building, and one-story business center/maker’s space.

The funds will be used for design, energy- efficient elements, professional services and construction costs, including brownfield remediation, and business and residential components.

The BEDF is a mission-oriented investment fund focused on investing in Black-led businesses, real estate developers and anchor institutions to help close the racial wealth gap. The BEDF was launched as a response to social challenges that have prevented minority communities from accessing the investment capital needed to spur growth.

“Salina 1st is exactly the type of endeavor the BEDF was built to support. Salina 1st will spur economic activity and ultimately create generational wealth for the Black community in Syracuse,” said George Ashton, president of LISC Fund Management. “We are impressed with the developers’ commitment to George Ashton, president of LISC Fund Management, shares words of support during Salina 1st ’s June 2nd press conference. the neighborhood and their persistence in transforming a vacant property into a center of commerce and housing.”

In 2019, Salina 1st partners — African American developers Emanuel Henderson of JHP Industrial Supply Co., Eli Smith of E. Smith Contractors, and Gail Montplaisir, of Taurus Development Group, a real estate development professional from Washington, D.C. — announced plans for the catalytic project that will transform a vacant downtown property into a five-story, mixed-use building and a one-story business center totaling 53,000 square feet. Features include residential, retail and maker’s space and an incubator with shared offices. With a total development cost of more than $10 million, the Salina 1st project will embrace, not displace, neighborhood residents and hire within the community. The New York State Energy Research Development Authority (NYSERDA) has recognized Salina 1st as a Net Zero Energy project, which means it will drastically cut greenhouse gas emissions. In addition, Salina 1st be self-powered by 1 million watts of solar energy generation.

“We are thankful to LISC, the BEDF, and its' investors for allocating these crucial funds to propel this project,” said Henderson. “We are ecstatic to partner and align with the mission of this nationally recognized organization known for enhancing marginalized communities.”

In June, construction commenced after being stalled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Construction crews stripped vegetation and leveled elevation to prepare for building slabs and a parking lot. Filtration and drainage pipes were delivered to prepare for installation of the underground retainage equipment. Excess dirt was hauled to landfills, while residual concrete and metal were recycled.

“It’s exciting to see movement from construction and new investors, and interest from potential tenants,” said Smith. “We are moving in the right direction.”

Salina 1st partners plan to launch a crowdfunding effort to enable Syracuse community members to become investors in the project. Further details will be announced by the end of the year.

Commercial tenants committed to date are JHP Industrial Supply Company, Inc., Economy, SGTR and E. Smith Contractors. Project completion is scheduled for 2024.

About the Black Economic Development Fund

The Black Economic Development Fund (BEDF) is an impact investment fund built specifically to address economic challenges in Black communities and to help close the racial wealth gap. The fund targets Black-led financial institutions, businesses, and anchor institutions with the goal of growing these organizations and strengthening their contributions to Black communities. The fund deploys capital on behalf of its corporate investors across a diverse set of industries, borrowers, and geographies in the U.S. The BEDF is managed by the Local Initiatives Support Corporation’s (LISC) Strategic Investments team and LISC Fund Management, LLC, a LISC affiliate. For more information on the BEDF, please visit

About Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC)

Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) is one of the country’s largest community development organizations, helping forge vibrant, resilient communities across America. Since 1979, LISC has invested $26.7 billion to build or rehab more than 463,000 affordable homes and apartments and develop 78.5 million square feet of retail, community and educational space. LISC Strategic Investment (SI) leads LISC’s national, and place-based private capital impact investment funds, community investment accelerators, and venture fund investments. The investment pools sponsored by LISC are available only to eligible investors, are offered only pursuant to their official offering documents, and are managed by LISC Fund Management, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of LISC. LISC Fund Management is an investment adviser registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). For more information on LISC, visit For more information on LISC Strategic Investments and funds, visit

About Salina 1st

Salina 1st is the first all-minority-led commercial development in the history of Syracuse. With an estimated investment of more than $10 million, the project consists of a five-story, mixed-use building, and a one-story business center/maker’s space, on almost 2 acres of land. Five community retail spaces will be located on the street level. Co-working office space will be located above the retail level. It will also offer a full-service incubator space to include workforce development, training, entrepreneurship support and scaling services. Conference rooms on-site will be available to the community. State-of-the-art, mixed-income residential apartments will be offered at a fraction of the cost of downtown living. The Salina 1st project will embrace, not displace, neighborhood residents and will hire within the community. For more information, visit


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