Washington State Community Empowerment Zone to Benefit From Advanced Educational and Increased Employment Opportunities
SEATTLE – Enterprise Community Partners, Inc. (Enterprise), in coordination with TAF (a.k.a. Technology Access Foundation) and other partners recently closed on a combined $12.5 million transaction that is financing the construction of a 3-story, 24,000-square-foot community learning center that will enable TAF to expand its provision of intensive science, technology, engineering and math (“STEM”) education to low- and moderate-income students of color. The project intends to seek LEED Gold certification and includes one floor of office space for TAF’s new headquarters and two floors dedicated to instructional programming. The new development—which TAF has named the Bethaday Community Learning Space—will also provide meeting space to the general public, nonprofits and community groups.
“Enterprise is honored to join our partners in developing this tremendous resource for the Seattle community, that will equip students from low-income neighborhoods in King County with advanced educational opportunities, ultimately preparing them for a challenging job market,” said M.A. Leonard, vice president and Pacific Northwest market leader, Enterprise. “Technology Access Foundation’s new facility embodies Enterprise’s mission to invest in strengthening communities and local resources that develop important ties to education and jobs.”
Financing for the facility was supplied by multiple public and private partners. Enterprise Community Investment, one of the largest allocatees of New Markets Tax Credits (NMTC), provided $12.5 million in NMTC allocation. A $2.9 million bridge loan was financed by Enterprise Community Loan Fund, which used proceeds from the sale of its Enterprise Community Impact Note to fund part of the loan. The Seattle Foundation made a $1 million investment in the Note last April as part of its commitment to support development of projects that promote the health of local communities. Impact Capital participated in the bridge loan by providing $1.46 million of the $2.9 million in bridge financing. Other financing included $2 million from King County, $1.5 million from the State of Washington; $1 million from The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; grant funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development; a $500,000 federal appropriation arranged by Senator Patty Murray; and $300,000 from Microsoft Corporate Community Affairs.
“We are grateful for this partnership with Enterprise, which will enable TAF to bring an educational facility to the White Center community,” said Trish Millines Dziko, TAF’s executive director. “The new building will provide opportunities for students to be literate in science, technology, engineering and math, gain critical 21st century skills, and prepare for college so they can later invest in their communities—an investment that will be felt for generations to come.”
Donated by King County, the site is an ideal location, adjacent to the King County Housing Authority HOPE VI redevelopment, and proximate to four public schools, which will allow students easy access to the facility. The new center will allow TAF to serve an additional 1,400 students and expand its office space for a growing staff that supports on-site and off-site programs. The project will create 50-70 construction jobs and an estimated 16 full-time and 25 part-time instructional, administrative, and support positions. The new facility is scheduled to open in the fall of 2012.
“The Seattle Foundation strongly believes in the importance of education as a foundation for healthy communities,” said Norm B. Rice, president and CEO, The Seattle Foundation. “This new Community Learning Space will provide much needed and important services to children in King County. We’re pleased that our investment in Enterprise made the financing for this project possible so that TAF will be able to grow its programs and meet the real demand for technology and science education so crucial to our state’s competitiveness.”
Enterprise is a leading provider of the development capital and expertise it takes to create decent, affordable homes and rebuild communities. For 30 years, Enterprise has introduced neighborhood solutions through public-private partnerships with financial institutions, governments, community organizations and others that share our vision. Enterprise has raised and invested more than $11 billion in equity, grants and loans to help build or preserve nearly 300,000 affordable rental and for-sale homes to create vital communities. Visit www.EnterpriseCommunity.org and www.EnterpriseCommunity.com to learn more about Enterprise's efforts to build communities and opportunity.
TAF is a Seattle-based nonprofit that was founded in 1996 to equip students of color for success in college and life through the power of a STEM education. TAF serves more than 600 underprivileged youth each year through innovative programs that use interdisciplinary, project-based lessons to connect STEM learning to real life. TAF makes systemic change through creative partnerships, by cost-effectively and ingeniously building on our community’s existing investments in public-school facilities and resources to help more students of color succeed in college and STEM-based careers. http://www.techaccess.org/