Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) — one of the largest funders of community development in the United States — has invested $17.3 billion ($52 billion total development costs) since 1980, including 61 million square feet of commercial, retail, and community space and more than 365,000 affordable housing units.
LISC opened a dedicated creative placemaking program in 2014, formalizing work they had been doing since the 1980s. Over the past 30 years, LISC has invested a total of $138 million in grants, loans, or project equity in 98 Creative Place and Creative Business projects across the U.S. While LISC lacks complete information on total development costs for all these projects, development costs totaled $939 million for 78 of the projects. LISC anticipates hitting $1 billion in total project development costs for Creative Places and Businesses by 2020.1
In collaboration with Metris Arts Consulting, LISC has just released a report highlighting illustrative case studies of creative placemaking projects around the country, from California, Louisianna, Ohio, Connecticutt, Pennsylvania, and more.2 A shining example is Fountain Square in Indianapolis. Beginning in 1993, a mix of significant investments by LISC (more than $25 million over 20 years), a community developer SEND (Southeast Neighborhood Development, Inc.), and the private sector helped Fountain Square move from dramatic disinvestment to stabilization and now even speculation.