It’s been a truly incredible year at Neighborly. We’ve had the privilege to work with many awesome communities who are forging an ambitious new path for themselves by building the projects and facilities of the future. Here are just a few of their stories.
In February, Cambridge, MA raised $2 million to renovate school buildings, upgrade the energy efficiency of municipal facilities, update city parks and implement the city’s complete streets plan. The offering was a unique moment in the city’s history, because it was the first time Cambridge constituents could purchase city bonds online directly. Only residents of the five zip codes of Cambridge were able to participate, and orders were capped at $20,000 to maximize participation. The public finance industry’s magazine of record, the Bond Buyer, awarded the financing its Most Innovative Deal of the Year award. Read a full case study here.
In April, Burlington, Vermont raised $5.2 million to enhance a bike path, plant trees, replace sidewalks and improve waterfront access to Lake Champlain. Residents came together with mission-driven local investment managers to invest in the offering, giving the Burlington community better access to public lands and provide critical infrastructure that will help preserve community space for years to come.
In May, Lawrence Kansas raised $654,000 to finance a fire truck for the Lawrence-Douglas County Fire Department. Investments came from local residents and impact-driven investment advisors. 78% of those who invested were first-time bond buyers. A financing of this size, for a single project, is unusual because communities typically bundle many projects together – even if they don’t need all the funds at the same time – to avoid paying the fixed costs and time it takes to borrow multiple times. What Lawrence demonstrated is that it is possible for communities to borrow what they need, when they need it, and that the time and cost it takes to finance public projects needs to come down.
Throughout the year, the State of California offered bonds directly to investors across the country to finance projects such as forestry protection, children’s hospitals, educational facilities and high-speed rail. Neighborly was one of the youngest firms ever to be admitted to the state’s underwriting pool, enabling us to make California bonds available directly to all investors for the first time, fulfilling a long held ambition of ours and the Golden State’s forward thinking leaders.
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