In 1977, three businessmen, determined to prevent uncertain futures and potential deterioration of important structures in downtown Fort Collins, formed the Local Development Company. They applied for and obtained a federally funded Housing and Urban Development Community Development Block Grant from the City of Fort Collins enabling them to originate two initial loan programs, sponsored through the Small Business Administration. In addition to its supplemental funding for SBA 502 and 503 programs, the LLC instituted a direct loan program which was administered locally by the LLC Board.
Early in 2016, the LLC Board elected to change its name to the Local Lending Company in an effort to better explain the organizations charge.
Two notable projects undertaken as a result of the LLC’s early funding programs were The Firehouse, located at 232 Walnut Street, and The McHugh House, located at 202 Remington Street. These landmark buildings were two of the first buildings in downtown Fort Collins to be extensively renovated and, consequently, they were instrumental in paving the way for other such projects. The LLC was incorporated in October 1978 as a Colorado non-profit corporation and has grown steadily ever since.
To its credit, the grant money first awarded to the LLC in 1977 remains in circulation today. Additional funds have been added to the LLC’s resources over the years, primarily through interest earned on loans funded. “The LLC is one of the most successful entities of its type,” says Joe Frank, Board Member of the LLC. “We still have the funds the original board started with, and they have been used time and time again. The LLC has an excellent track record.”
Occasionally referred to as one of the pioneers of the Old Town district, the LLC served as a funding resource to revitalize downtown before it was vogue to do so. Over the years, the LLC has adapted its focus to match the needs of the times as renovating downtown Fort Collins has gained popularity. As a nonprofit, private organization made up of an all-volunteer Board, the LLCs past low profile is one reason many people are surprised to discover the number of noteworthy projects it has helped fund.