Tag Birge, senior vice president for healthcare atIndianapolis-based Lauth, explains that Fort Norfolk Plaza "seemedlike a long shot" for a time because no new commercial medicaloffice buildings had been built in the Downtown Norfolk medicaldistrict in nearly 40 years and efforts to develop a new MOB nearthe Eastern Virginia Medical Center campus appeared stalled asrecently as last year. But Lauth has now joint-ventured with localcardiologist Dr. Keith H. Newby Sr. to develop the nine-story FortNorfolk Plaza on a 2.8-acre infill site across Brambleton Avenuefrom the city's medical district.

Following the recent close of financing for the $70 millionproject, Lauth has started construction of the MOB and itsconnected 904-space parking deck. The project was announced nearlythree years ago but had been delayed by a slowing economy and otherfactors.

Lauth worked with Newby and city officials to qualify theproject for the federal New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) Program,which is used by communities to attract equity investors topublic-interest projects. Lauth rounded out the financing for thepublic-private partnership by securing debt financing through Bankof America and SunTrust.

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