Banker Helps Economic Revitalization

October 17, 2005
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GRAND RAPIDS — Both on the job and off, Jason Paulateer is focused on helping folks with low to moderate incomes get ahead.

Paulateer is assistant vice president of National City Corp. and executive director of National City Community Development Corp. of Michigan. His CDC a corporation that specializes in the development and rehabilitation of real estate, investment in business ventures, and other activities that address the housing, commercial redevelopment, employment, and community facilities needs of low- and moderate-income persons and neighborhoods.

CDCs are designed to stimulate economic revitalization and growth of low- and moderate-income neighborhoods and have proven highly effective at attracting public funds and private investment capital to traditionally underserved areas.

As head of NCCDC, Paulateer has to work with more creative financing structures than most bankers do to put together a finance package that ensures a project’s viability and success.

He works primarily in the tax credit business, providing equity to projects and developers for the use of various tax credits — namely new markets, low-income housing, historic rehabilitation and brownfield tax credits.

“One of the primary ways that we’re looking at right now, kind of on a global National City scale, is the use of the new markets tax credit. I’m looking at those types of projects everywhere in Michigan. Unlike the other tax credits, the new markets tax credit is primarily used to drive small business or business investment back into low- to moderate-income communities, whereas the other tax credits are really focused on buildings or development.”

In fact, he said, NCCDC has applied to the federal government for a special designation so it can be a stronger catalyst for projects. That designation would give Paulateer the authority to decide whether a project meets the CDC’s mission and, if so, immediately grant tax credits to the project without going through the usual red tape.

“Then, once I’ve granted the tax credits, I’ll be able to fund the equity piece for those tax credits. As it is now, I find a project, then have to find a community development entity that already has that designation and go through their application process to get a project approved before I can go through the process of getting my equity in. So (having the authority) cuts out a middle man, so to speak.”

Paulateer works on projects with developers all over the state, with the exception of Detroit, which has its own NCCDC. He has worked locally with such companies and organizations as Tillman Development, Inner City Christian Federation,

Dwelling Place
of Grand Rapids, Lighthouse Communities and Jubilee Ministries. He’s currently working on three projects in Grand Rapids

Also, Paulateer and two other local people are forming a group that hopes to boost the number of minority developers in town. Paulateer says he sees a ton of projects, but not a ton of minority developers. The group intends to find ways to coach and mentor aspiring developers and small builders to help them take their business to the next level.

“I also look at it as part of my job in community development. Developing the community, to me, is not only about developing the buildings in the community, but also about helping the people in the community develop. I think I can make a huge impact by mentoring folks and helping them connect with the right consultants, accountants and attorneys, as well as other developers so they can get their business to a place where we can finance their projects.”

Paulateer also works with organizations that support investment or reinvestment in minority communities. He is chairman, for instance, of the nonprofit Home Repair Services, an organization that offers home maintenance classes, surplus building materials and tool rentals to help low- to moderate- income homeowners maintain their homes.

In addition, he teaches personal finance classes at his church, TabernacleCommunityChurch. He recently earned an MBA degree from GrandValleyStateUniversity

On top of everything else, he’s a small business owner with his wife, Chapri. They own BabyBearDaycareCenter at 1905 Madison SE.   

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