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Saints owner’s company marching in at MidCity with investment

HUNTSVILLE – The mixed-use MidCity District, which has already surpassed economic expectations, received a boost with the announcement Monday that a new partnership is joining the effort.

Benson Capital Partners, founded by New Orleans Saints owner and governor of the New Orleans Pelicans Gayle Benson, is partnering developers of the $2.2 billion MidCity project for continued growth. BCP brings experience in venture capital and real estate investment. 

Randy Wolfe, senior vice president and managing director at Northmarq, facilitated the $13.75 million recapitalization for MidCity Placemakers Retail II, an 82,669 square-foot retail space within MidCity. This financing is structured over a 30-year term.

“We are excited to further RCP Companies’ vision for MidCity, redefining community spaces,” noted Keith Schneider, managing director for Benson Capital’s real estate fund. “MidCity District represents a pioneering vision that aligns with our commitment to investing in transformative projects.’’

The Huntsville City Council recently approved a measure for an assessment to help provide more funding that would come from property owners. That move coincided with another approval for the MidCity Improvement District and its board of directors to expand the area. 

Shane Davis, director of urban and economic development for the city, said that assessment would fuel “some minor land acquisition for more surface parking and structure parking, some more parking and common areas that would be enjoyed by the owners of the district, but also the general population or the public.”

The City of Huntsville would not pay for “any assessments on property owned, nor are we making any financial contribution to these improvements.”

There is a Public Improvement District across Old Monrovia Road and University Drive. 

“This speaks to the success of the MidCity development,” City Councilwoman Jennie Robinson told the council. “It’s amazing their vision and their ability to execute.’’

Davis said projections after a full buildout at MidCity have more than doubled while the district is just now closing in on 50% of its plans.

“Our return on investment is much greater than anticipated,” Davis said. “So, It’s going very well.”

As for Monday’s news release concerning the new partnership, Benson Capital Partners said it “has been at the forefront of venture capital investment since its inception in 2019, focusing on highly scalable and rapidly growing technology startups across the Southeast. In 2023, recognizing the burgeoning real estate opportunities in the region, BCP launched Benson Capital Real Estate I, LP, a fund dedicated to executing strategic real estate investments.” 

Focusing on entertainment, retail, dining and residential experiences, upon completion, MidCity is projected to feature 1,865 residential units, 925 hotel keys and state-of-the-art office spaces, along with outdoor gathering spaces, including the renowned Orion Amphitheater. 

“We are not only gaining a valued partner with BCP but setting the stage for remarkable growth. Their extensive experience in venture capital and real estate investment aligns with our vision for MidCity District,” said Max Grelier, RCP Companies co-founder. “This partnership signals a bright future for us and underscores our commitment to shaping environments where people thrive.”

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