Yellow Banana Completes $26.5 Million Transformative Investment in Six Chicago South and West Side Grocery Stores.
Yellow Banana, the owner and operator of eight Save A Lot sites in the Chicagoland area, announced today the completion of a $26.5 million investment in grocery stores on Chicago’s South and West Sides on March 31, 2023. This deal is the next stage in Yellow Banana’s continuous commitment to neglected areas across Chicago and the United States.
The investment combines a $13.5 million Community Development Grant previously awarded to Yellow Banana by the City in July 2022 with New Markets Tax Credits, third-party financing, and Yellow Banana funding.
Yellow Banana will undertake extensive improvements to its existing Chicago locations as well as reopen a former Save A Lot at 7908 S. Halsted in the Auburn Gresham area, which shuttered in 2020.
The transaction highlights Yellow Banana’s ongoing efforts to collaborate with major U.S. cities to provide access to affordable nutrition in underserved communities, and it comes as Walmart announces the permanent closure of four of its long-standing locations on Chicago’s South and West Sides.
127 Wall, which was co-founded by Michael Nance, Ademola Adewale-Sadik, and Walker Brumskine, owns Yellow Banana. The three met while studying at Yale Law School; Adewale-Sadik and Brumskine also attended Harvard Business School.
Yellow Banana owns and runs approximately 40 stores in Chicago, Cleveland, Milwaukee, Jacksonville, and Dallas, and aspires to be the preferred partner for towns working to address food insecurity across the United States.
The funds will be utilized to purchase the underlying real estate at five of Yellow Banana’s existing Chicago locations as well as the Auburn Gresham location. Yellow Banana will next revamp each location completely, including new flooring, lighting, equipment, HVAC, dairy and meat cases, interior and exterior paint, décor, fixtures, and signs.
The renovations will begin this spring and last for a year, during which time Yellow Banana will also reopen its Auburn Gresham location.Yellow Banana’s legal advice included Squire Patton Boggs, DLA Piper, and Federman Steifman, while Yellow Banana’s New Markets Tax Credit consultants were the Chicago Neighborhood Initiatives Group (CNI).
Yellow Banana received real estate development services from Q2 Real Estate. The project received NMTC equity from US Bank, which leveraged its own NMTC allocation as well as NMTC allocations from Southside Community Optimal Redevelopment Enterprise, LLC and Chicago Development Fund.
Third-party finance was supplied by the Local Initiatives Support Corporation and Capital Impact Partners, with Untamed Equity, LLC providing a bridge loan secured by the City of Chicago’s award.
Yellow Banana is a retail grocery platform with 38 Save A Lot stores in the Chicago, Cleveland, Milwaukee, Jacksonville, and Dallas metropolitan areas. Yellow Banana, founded in 2021, aims to provide critical nutrients to working families at a modest cost.