ASBURY PARK, NJ – September 13, 2011 – On Tuesday, August 2, New Jersey Community Capital (NJCC) closed on a $2.56 million acquisition loan to Build with Purpose (formerly READS) to purchase the five-story Asbury Park building that houses Hope Academy Charter School. The acquisition saves the building from falling into foreclosure and blight and allows 193 elementary and middle school students to stay in Hope Academy’s quality learning environment. It also builds on an exceptional relationship between NJCC and Build with Purpose that began under one roof.
While Hope Academy consistently paid its lease since occupying its space in 2008, its landlord concurrently neglected building maintenance and failed to make its mortgage and tax payments, and in the summer of 2010 Wells Fargo began foreclosure proceedings. Build with Purpose and NJCC worked hand-in-hand with Hope Academy to arrange an acquisition. The transaction reduces and stabilizes the school’s facility costs, and Build with Purpose plans to transfer ownership to Hope Academy within five years.
The long-term cost savings and stability that property ownership will provide the school is just one benefit of this project. NJCC’s loan also allows Hope Academy to improve its facilities, including the creation of additional classroom space, allowing the school to expand its enrollment to 207 students, as well as upgrades to the roof, windows, elevators, and ventilation system — improvements that will both increase the energy efficiency of the building and support student achievement. “Without the assistance of NJCC and Build with Purpose, our group of kids would have lost not only a great education but all of their invaluable relationships and the sense of community we have fostered,” said Hope Academy Director Alexis Harris.
The project embodies Build with Purpose’s goal of meeting the unique real-estate needs of non-profit organizations, an effort it has made since being formed under NJCC’s sponsorship in 2003 and has continued to emphasize as it has expanded to serve over 25 non-profits. “This project is much more than a property transaction,” said Build with Purpose Director and President Brian Keenan. “By purchasing and restoring this property, we are making a big difference in the lives of these young students and their families and we are helping to preserve a community asset.”
NJCC is proud to have worked so effectively with Build with Purpose to combine resources and develop a sustainable solution to a serious predicament. The loan for Hope Academy’s building marks NJCC’s third charter school loan in the month of August alone, totaling $6.7 million in investments and almost 1,000 students supported. Since 2005, NJCC has leveraged over $129 million in charter school development costs and committed over $43 million in direct financing to 23 charter school campuses, supporting over 6,640 charter school seats.
NJCC is a 501(c)3 mission-driven lender based in Trenton that transforms at-risk communities through strategic investments of capital and knowledge. NJCC invests in affordable housing, community facilities, and economic development ventures that strengthen neighborhoods, improve education, and increase jobs, ultimately providing greater opportunities for the low-income residents in these communities. For more information on NJCC, visit www.newjerseycommunitycapital.org.
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