Winthrop & Weinstine have been on the forefront of affordable housing law for three decades, ever since the low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC) was enacted by Congress.
“Our firm did the first tax credit deal in Minnesota,” said attorney John Nolde, who works in this area with Winthrop colleagues Jeffrey Koerselman and John Stern. “We were involved from the start in figuring out how the program worked — while it was still a temporary program. It’s become much more sophisticated as the tax credit industry has matured.”
Winthrop has closed more than 1,300 LIHTC, state and federal historic tax credit and affordable housing transactions, and added three new attorneys to the practice in the past year for 27 members total on the affordable housing team.
“It’s become a more national practice over the past 10 years,” said Koerselman. “We’ve been able to become thought leaders locally and nationally when it comes to how these deals are actually done.”
The practice has expanded its expertise in real estate development and finance transactions involving numerous areas. That wide-ranging expertise helped the group have an especially notable year in 2016. Among other accomplishments, it made possible an affordable-housing community for homeless veterans at Fort Snelling in Minneapolis thanks to a combination of nearly $10 million of tax credit equity from three different types of federal and state tax credits, nearly $11 million of tax-exempt bonds and numerous grants and loans.
The team also served as lead counsel for the Pillsbury A-Mill Project developer and investors, and helped make the development financially feasible by helping with acquisition, securing historic tax credits, securing low-income housing tax credits and getting necessary permits.
“The Pillsbury A-Mill project has been exciting to watch as they come up with creative re-uses for that space,” said Nolde. “To see it repurposed into 250 units of affordable housing as well as a source for hydro-electric power is unique and exciting.”