PHILADELPHIA — In the Nicetown-Tioga neighborhood of North Philadelphia, a Black-owned, social impact development company will soon break ground on an ambitious project.
TPP Capital Management, led by fund manager Anthony Miles and Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer Clinton Bush, spent five years assembling parcels of largely vacant land in a five-block radius just to the west of Temple University Health System’s main campus. TPP intends to break ground there this quarter on the first phase of Tioga District, a mixed-use, wellness-focused development complex.
The Nicetown-Tioga neighborhood has a 35% poverty rate, with a median income of $21K, according to U.S. Census American Community Survey data, and $24K according to data from the city of Philadelphia. Even as neighborhoods like Point Breeze that had similar demographics at the start of the 21st century have gentrified, Tioga has remained stagnant or worse economically.
Tioga District is the first of what TPP hopes are many projects to be developed using capital from TPP Real Estate Development Fund, which Miles is operating as a qualified opportunity fund based on the opportunity zones program created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. The fund has secured $30M in commitments out of its $100M target, and it is still looking for more investors into the fund and directly into Tioga District.
“We have the data to support why we’re doing what we’re doing, so we’re making a social impact, a community impact,” Bush said, noting that all of TPP’s assembled parcels sit within census tracts designated as opportunity zones. “Our model at TPP in terms of our social impact is built on food science, medical science and behavioral science. Our real estate is centered around a preventative health hub, which is really what the Tioga development is.”
Bush believes the project is a case study in responsible development in disinvested neighborhoods, and his firm is aiming to create a scalable solution that could be executed in other opportunity zones around the country.
“We have a moral obligation as leaders to make these scalable solutions available to ... anyone who wants it because we are smack dab in the middle of a public health crisis,” Bush said.
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