Business Briefs

Durham developer named to UNC post

Posted August 12, 2011 4:08 p.m. EDT

— The School of Government at the University of North Carolina announced Friday that Durham developer Michael Lemanski has been named director of the new Development Finance Initiative.

Funded with a $1 million grant from Local Government Federal Credit Union, the initiative is designed to increase the access of economically distressed communities in North Carolina to various development finance instruments, such as tax credit programs, self-financing bonds and secondary market and securitization programs.

The School of Government will work with local governments and nonprofit development organizations and test innovations in the field of development finance.

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

Lemanski is the founder and former managing partner of Greenfire Development in Durham, which has redeveloped a number of downtown properties in the city. UNC said he has more than 15 years of experience using innovative finance mechanisms to complete complicated real estate projects.

"As a private developer, Michael Lemanski employed creative financing tools in order to revitalize distressed properties," Assistant Professor Tyler Mulligan said in a statement. "We believe that North Carolina communities will benefit from Michael's experience, so we are pleased that he has agreed to direct this initiative."