CPC Opens New Buffalo Office, Building on Decades of Community Revitalization Work in Western New York

Michael DeWitt Joins CPC as Senior Vice President and Regional Director to Cultivate CPC’s Lending in Underserved Communities

Buffalo, NY – August 16, 2016 – The Community Preservation Corporation (CPC) announced today that it has opened a new Western New York regional office located at 534 Delaware Avenue in the heart of Buffalo’s Allentown neighborhood, and that Michael DeWitt has joined the company as Senior Vice President and Regional Director. Mr. DeWitt will lead CPC’s efforts in the Western New York region, and work closely with local developers and community and government partners to further CPC’s mission of financing multifamily housing projects that bring a positive impact to underserved and growing communities.

Over the course of its history CPC has provided $259 million in financing for 151 multifamily housing developments in Western New York, inclusive of $167.5 million that has helped to finance 89 developments in Buffalo.

“CPC has spent decades working with our partners to help solve the housing and community development challenges in Buffalo and throughout Western New York. Returning to Buffalo allows us to continue to strengthen our connection to the communities, borrowers, and other local stakeholders who share our mission and vision,” said Rafael E. Cestero, President and CEO, The Community Preservation Corporation. “Mike DeWitt has years of real estate and mortgage lending experience in Western New York, and we’re excited that he’s joining the CPC team. Most importantly, Mike has built a reputation as relationship builder and problem solver who understands the unique needs of the communities and customers that we strive to serve.”

“CPC is a leader in affordable housing finance and has been a consistent presence in communities throughout Western New York for years,” said Mike DeWitt. “I’m excited to have the opportunity to bring my experience to a company that defines its success by their commitment to their customers and the positive impact their investments bring to neighborhoods.”

CPC is a mission-driven nonprofit affordable housing and community revitalization finance company with a decades-long history serving New York State’s housing and community revitalization needs. The company has been bringing stable capital and impactful investments to quality multifamily housing projects in Western New York since the early 1990s, and opened its first regional office in Buffalo in 1995. In 2011, CPC brought its Western New York operations under the direction of the Syracuse office, where it functioned as the Central and Western New York Regional office until the company’s return to Buffalo this year.

Recently, the company has seen the impact of its work grow and take root throughout Western New York. In Buffalo, CPC has used its years of experience to aid the city’s efforts to bring significant new economic investment and housing renewal opportunity to the downtown area through the adaptive reuse and redevelopment of historic structures.

This February CPC celebrated the groundbreaking of the 500 Seneca Street project with the project’s developer, the Savarino Companies. CPC provided a $24 million construction loan and a SONYMA-insured $18.68 million permanent loan through the New York State Common Retirement Fund to help finance the project. Formerly a vacant manufacturing facility and brownfield site, the now renovated building provides 98 new apartments, commercial space, complimentary retail space and new economic opportunities that will act as a catalyst in the revitalization of Buffalo’s growing Hydraulics District.

“Our 500 Seneca project was an historic structure that had been abandoned for many years and faced several significant challenges. We saw an opportunity to transform the building and the neighborhood by restoring it as a vibrant, mixed-use development,” said Samuel J. Savarino, President and CEO of Savarino Companies. “While other lenders offered us polite declinations, the Community Preservation Corp. saw the community benefit of our project and they worked with us to provide construction and permanent financing for what is a complicated transaction. 500 Seneca now serves as the anchor to a revived and restored historic district. Over 700 people now live and work in what was an empty, derelict and contaminated building – providing quality housing and jobs where they are needed.”

“The decision by CPC to further expand its presence in upstate New York by opening an office in Buffalo is reflective of its broad vision to ensure that its needed resources are easily accessible to the growing economy in and around Buffalo,” said Steven J. Weiss, Partner at Cannon Heyman and Weiss, LLP. “CPC’s history of work in the region has been good for many, and has helped to shine a spotlight on parts of the community still struggling and where its products and services are often needed the most. We are thrilled for CPC and for our clients who borrow from CPC and wish them all much success.”

“Our relationship with Mike DeWitt goes back at least 17 years, and it’s one we’re looking forward to continuing as he takes on his new role at CPC,” said James Gottstine, COO at Ciminelli Real Estate Corp. “Mike brings a sense of humanity to the process of putting a deal together. He understands the significance of each project and impact it can have, and that’s important to us. When you work with Mike you know he’s not just crunching the numbers, he’s a partner in helping to make your plan and vision a reality.”

Michael DeWitt comes to CPC with 24 years of experience in commercial real estate mortgage lending and deep ties to Buffalo and Western New York. Before coming to CPC, DeWitt served as First Vice President and Relationship Manager at First Niagara Bank, N.A., where he was responsible for the growth and management of for-profit and nonprofit commercial real estate customers in Western New York for the last 10 years.

Prior to First Niagara, DeWitt was Vice President and Relationship Manager at HSBC Bank USA where he worked for more than 14 years. At HSBC, DeWitt also managed a portfolio of commercial real estate customers across Upstate New York.

About the Community Preservation Corporation (CPC)

Established in 1974, the Community Preservation Corporation (CPC) is a nonprofit affordable housing and community revitalization finance company that believes housing is central to transforming underserved neighborhoods into thriving and vibrant communities. We provide innovative capital solutions, fresh thinking and a collaborative approach to the often complex challenges that owners and developers of multifamily housing face. To date, CPC has leveraged approximately $9.7 billion in private and public investment to finance more than 170,660 units of affordable housing. Our work with our partners has helped revitalize countless neighborhoods throughout New York, and provided quality housing for families, senior citizens, and individuals with disabilities. Follow us at communityp.com, and on Facebook, Twitter  and LinkedIn.

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