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Coopers & Lybrand to assist in securing government grants.

Coopers & Lybrand announced that it has formed a new unit to assist real estate developers and municipalities in qualifying for government economic development grants.

As part of this effort, the new unit has compiled a list of over 50 government grant and loan programs available for real estate-based economic development.

According to the New York-based professional services firm, government programs that were put in place to encourage economic development have been underutilized by both businesses and municipalities. Many of them are either unfamiliar with all the programs available or unaware of their full potential, according to Dr. Bjorn Hanson, Coopers & Lybrand's Real Estate Industry chairman.

The need for this service has become even greater during the, current real estate downturn due to the shortage of private capital for real estate development, Hanson added.

The new unit will be headed by Meg Sowell, director of Real Estate Advisory Services in Coopers and Lybrand's Philadelphia office. As director of the unit. Sowell, director of Real jobs for low-to-moderate income people, and provides federal loan guarantees on loans with rates as low as 50 basis points above the treasury rate. The Housing Authorization bill, signed in October by President Bush, approves $2 billion for the program --13 times more than previous authorizations.

Another program Coopers & Lybrand plans to bring to clients' attention is Tax Increment Financing.(TIF). Used very successfully by Western states to spur economic development, this program so far has been underutilized in the East, said Sowell. Under TIF. municipalities 'issue economic development bonds backed by future property tax increments, and use the proceeds to fund land acquisition, road and sewer construction, and even parking. These public investments contribute directly to the feasibility of private real estate development.
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Title Annotation:forms new business unit
Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Date:Dec 23, 1992
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