January 8th, 2018 – The newly completed 140,000 sq. foot Whole Foods distribution center located on Chicago’s far South side celebrated its grand opening. Members of FirstPathway Community Development (FPCD), an affiliate of FirstPathway Partners LLC, were in attendance along with distinguished guests: Chicago Mayor, Rahm Emanuel, and Whole Foods Market Midwest Regional President, Michael Bashaw. The ceremony titled “Breaking Bread” focused on the importance of coming together to support projects that create economic opportunities for families in the historic Pullman neighborhood.
The new distribution center was made possible by New Markets Tax Credits (NMTC Program) from FirstPathway Community Development, a Milwaukee based Community Development Entity (CDE). The deployment of these tax credits will help employ over 100 people and will serve Whole Foods Market locations in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Iowa, and beyond. With the completion of this project, FPCD’s use of the NMTC Program has helped move this community forward. During the ceremony, Mayor Emanuel said this project was made possible because of the hard work put forth by each of the individuals in attendance.
The NMTC Program is overseen by the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) Fund. It was created to incentivize community development through the deployment of tax credits that attract private investment. In 2016 FirstPathway Community Development was awarded $25 million in New Markets Tax Credits. It was the first time the organization applied for the tax credits and was selected from a pool of 238 applicants.