Three Roots Capital has “strong roots” in pursuing deals in Oak Ridge that provide positive economic and social impact, including current efforts to redevelop downtown Oak Ridge. Since 2017, Three Roots has sourced capital from three banks and one federal agency to finance six different companies and projects in the area. Three Roots has provided approximately $16.5 million as part of financing packages and projects that exceeded $22 million in total value.
The City of Oak Ridge was created during the Manhattan Project without a centralized, mixed-use downtown area. Yet, since the city’s inception, residents have envisioned the creation of a walkable downtown area that features high-quality living spaces, easily accessible restaurants and green spaces, innovative new businesses, and more. For the past few years, the city has been working to turn this dream into a reality with the help of many partners, including Three Roots.
“Figuring out how to turn downtown Oak Ridge into a place that is optimized for the community has been a long process,” said Grady Vanderhoofven, Three Roots’ President and CEO. “We have strong roots in Oak Ridge. Because of our history and what the city is doing right now, these redevelopment projects are a really good fit for us.”
Three Roots is committed to pursuing projects and deals that bring lasting value to communities. From September 2017 to April 2021, Three Roots has worked with First Horizon, Renasant Bank, and Pinnacle Financial Partners to provide financing for five projects in Oak Ridge. The projects include: the Marriott TownePlace Suites, two retail establishments with Cappiello Real Estate & Development Company, an ExtraSpace Storage facility with RealtyLink, and one more project that was pending at the time of publication of this article. Three Roots used capital sourced from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program (RMAP) to provide financing for Southeastern Packaging Technologies, a local small business, in October 2018.
“We found the team at Three Roots Capital to be smart, creative, and enthusiastic about helping us have a positive economic impact in Oak Ridge,” said Jack Jamison, Principal and Broker-in-Charge at RealtyLink. “They are a capable group, they’ve been good to work with, and we are looking for opportunities to collaborate with them on future projects, in Oak Ridge and beyond.”
In addition to financing support, Three Roots has provided technical and operational assistance on these deals and for other organizations and prospective projects in the continued redevelopment of Oak Ridge’s downtown area. Some of this support includes working with Wayne Blasius, Community Development Director of Oak Ridge and valued partner of Three Roots, who is spearheading the city’s redevelopment efforts.
Unlike other downtown revitalization efforts, Blasius explained that creating a new downtown where one didn’t exist previously and securing financing is challenging, which is where Three Roots provides value.
“The beauty of Three Roots for us is their ability to make some loans that others might not be able to,” said Blasius. “The fact that Three Roots gets it and they’re willing and able to help finance projects is going to be a pretty big deal. Moving forward, we may have projects for one reason or another that are in the ‘too hard’ pile for some of the local lenders, and Three Roots might be the magic that makes something work.”