Building Great Urban Neighborhoods. Together.

Investment & Finance Development

Civic San Diego’s (“CivicSD”) investment strategy is to use leveraged financing to foster livable communities and healthy neighborhoods, nurture small business, and stimulate job creation in low and moderate-income communities in the City of San Diego or for the benefit of low-income persons.

New Markets Tax Credits

Smart Growth Fund

San Diego is one of the least affordable housing markets in the country, with only 26% of households able to purchase a median-priced house in the county (California Association of Realtors, August 9, 2017).

To address this disparity, Civic San Diego is establishing a $30-50 million double bottom line private capital real estate equity fund. The Smart Growth Fund will leverage bank capital and philanthropic investment to make equity, debt, and/or mezzanine investments in urban infill residential and select mixed income and mixed use projects throughout San Diego County. The Fund will be managed by a professional fund manager with favorable return on investment.

EB5 Regional Center

The Immigrant Investor Program (EB-5), created by Congress in 1990 and administered by the U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services, provides low-cost, flexible capital for projects that create jobs. After investing $500,000 in an approved project, a foreign national (and spouse and children under 21) is issued a two-year conditional green card. The investor must show that the funds have been fully invested and at least 10 jobs have been created within two years to gain full resident status. Most EB-5 investments are managed through an EB-5 Regional Center that takes in investors’ capital and loans it out to the job-creating projects. The project benefits from lower cost debt and the Regional Center charges sufficient interest and fees to cover all the financing costs and provide a small profit if the project performs. Large-scale construction projects are strong targets due to the dependability of creating construction jobs.

Civic San Diego Sponsored Loan Fund

As part of a collaborative with Business Improvement Districts, the CivicSD Board has approved a $400,000 investment with Accion San Diego to increase lending to small businesses located in zip codes in the City of San Diego that have a medium household income of $60,000 or below (92101, 92102, 92104, 92105, 92110, 92111, 92113, 92114, 92115, 92116, 92132, 92134, 92140, 92147, 92154, and 92173). Loans will generally be allowed up to $25,000, with exceptions in excess of that amount considered on a case by case basis.

For more information contact Michael Lengyel, Assistant Vice President for Economic Development, at (619) 533-7158 or

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