Through Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), our national partner, Neighborhood Allies offers financing, technical assistance and added capacity for a large range of community development and housing projects. Today, we’re happy to announce the closing of our most recent local loan, made to New Sun Rising to support the Moose Project!
New Sun Rising’s (NSR) Moose Project is a direct result of the growth in food, energy, water & equity initiatives supported through the resident-driven Millvale EcoDistrict Pivot Plan, which along with a dedicated group of leaders and residents, drives development and planning throughout the community.
One of NSR’s signature initiatives is the MODE Incubator System. Seeded by a Small & Simple grant from Neighborhood Allies in 2014, the NSR MODE social innovation system incubates clusters of underserved business and project leaders through programming, services, and resources. Leading up to the launch of the Moose Project, NSR implemented the Launch Millvale Food Enterprise Incubator, which consisted of 10 social enterprises comprising a local food system, including food waste reduction, composting, growing and education, logistics, retail, and a food hub. In just one year, the cluster established new food businesses, created jobs, and attracted additional investment and food businesses.
Building upon that success, with LISC/Neighborhood Allies investment and support, NSR will be repurposing the old Moose Lodge in the community to become sustainability resource hub. The 10,000sq. foot building will not only be a vibrant community asset and home of NSR, it will also house a minimum of 5 food businesses, serve as a fresh food access point for the community including fresh food from the Gardens of Millvale, 412 Food Rescue, and Sprezzatura (cafe), and serve as the backbone facility for the development of the Millvale EcoDistrict Food System.
“Working with Neighborhood Allies and LISC on this project went far beyond the funding. We were able to tap into knowledge which helped us to develop an innovative business model, connect with real estate professionals, and ultimately, overcome the challenges associated with such a complex project.”
-Scott Wolovich, New Sun Rising
With over 10 committed partners including the Pittsburgh Food Policy Council, the project strives to establish a replicable model that can be implemented by other food insecure communities. By providing space for these growing enterprises, NSR and its partners will help retain them and bring jobs to the Millvale community. Other partners and tenants include:
- 412 Food Rescue: a leading organization in regional food waste reduction
- Sprezzatura: a business that will host cooking classes, sell prepared foods and provide catering
- Gluten Free Goat: a gluten free flour mill
- Tupelo Honey Teas: a locally, woman-owned tea shop
- Millvale Community Library: offering a training/employment initiative
- Yoga 22: a community wellness provider