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News State / Region Michael Lemanski named director of new Development Finance Initiative

The UNC School of Government has announced that Michael Lemanski has been named director of the School’s new Development Finance Initiative. The initiative was funded with a $1 million grant from Local Government Federal Credit Union and will create opportunities for economically distressed communities in North Carolina by increasing their access to and use of innovative development finance instruments.

The School of Government will work intensively with local governments and nonprofit development entities to increase their capacity to take advantage of complicated development finance products and services including tax credit programs, self-financing bonds, secondary market and securitization programs, and others. The initiative will allow the School to test innovations in the field of development finance in partnership with social entrepreneurs across North Carolina.

“As a private developer, Michael Lemanski employed creative financing tools in order to revitalize distressed properties. The School’s Development Finance Initiative seeks to assist North Carolina local governments and their partners with understanding these complex tools,” says Assistant Professor Tyler Mulligan, whose field of expertise is community and economic development. “We believe that North Carolina communities will benefit from Michael’s experience, so we are pleased that he has agreed to direct this initiative.”

Lemanski has more than 15 years of experience using innovative finance mechanisms to complete complicated real estate development projects. He is the founder and former managing partner of Greenfire Development in Durham, where he continues to serve as a board member. Prior to starting Greenfire, Lemanski was an environmental engineer for Kimberly Clark Corporation. Lemanski graduated from North Carolina State University with degrees in chemical engineering and environmental science, and he holds an MBA from UNC-Chapel Hill.

“Attracting investment into distressed communities and properties can be incredibly challenging,” says Lemanski, “but with this initiative, the School of Government is uniquely positioned to help local governments make these improvements.”

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