Ben Swartzendruber


Ben Swartzendruber

Commitment to Clients and Communities

I like the intellectual aspects of structuring deals but that’s not the reason I’m at Applegate. Finding ways to make our clients’ transformative community development projects happen is the fuel that powers me through the (sometimes infuriating) complexities and uncertainties of the tax code.  I have the Housing and Community Development clinic at Yale to thank for introducing me to the nuts and bolts of the tax credit world and what was then the brand new New Markets Tax Credit.  I am very fortunate to have found a practice that is both interesting and impactful.

Career Overview

Current Focus:  I established and currently lead our tax group’s new market tax credit (NMTC) practice and am active in historic (HTC), housing (LIHTC) and energy credit transactions.  I started my career in the real estate group at Sidley before trying my hand as a developer of affordable housing with the community development group at Bank of America.  Though it’s sometimes hard to admit, I must be a lawyer at heart because I jumped at the chance to practice law at Applegate!

Highlights:  I was thrilled to have been selected as a fellow of the Center for Redevelopment Excellence (CUREx) at the University of Pennsylvania and humbled to have joined some of the most effective and innovative young leaders in community development.

I’ve worked on hundreds of NMTC, Historic and LIHTC transactions all over the country but have only been able to visit a handful of the (local) projects and businesses that were financed.  I did have the pleasure of visiting the Lawndale Christian Health Center to see firsthand how it improves the health of the North Lawndale community.  I was inspired to learn how the Sonia Shankman Orthogenic School is changing young lives in Woodlawn.  A recent visit to the Great Central Brewing Company in Chicago’s emerging brewery district, however, was the most refreshing!

Professional Affiliations

American Bar Association

  • Member, Forum on Affordable Housing and Community Development Law
  • Member, Section on Taxation

Ben is thoughtful, thorough and solution-oriented. His knowledge, efficiency and dedication make him a trusted partner, from structuring through closing.


Our attorneys have a passion for helping our clients reclaim and re-invigorate neighborhoods and cities. We represent developers, tax credit syndicators, investors, tax-exempt community development organizations and public housing authorities. They trust us to get the job done–please come talk with us to learn why you should too.

Let’s Work Together