June 12, 2010
NDC Leads Effort to Provide New Markets Tax Credits to Turn Museum into a Reality
Tacoma, WA – On June 10, 2010, NDC joined the City of Tacoma, LeMay executives and donors, regional leaders and car enthusiasts from around the nation to mark the official groundbreaking for the Harold E. LeMay Museum. NDC helped the City of Tacoma structure a complex financing package that includes Federally Guaranteed loans and a City property donation of the museum site, located next to the Tacoma Dome on the Thea Foss Waterway. NDC, through its HEDC New Markets, Inc., teamed with USBancorp Community Development Corporation and Consortium America to raise an additional $8.2 million in Federal New Markets Tax Credit equity for the project. The multi-phase development will eventually make the museum one of the most important development projects in Tacoma’s history.
“The LeMay Museum will be a world-class attraction that promises to create jobs and economic activity. The City of Tacoma recognized early what a great opportunity the Museum’s development presented for the region, and we were honored to work with the City to secure federal financing to make the project a go,” said John Finke, NDC regional director.
The LeMay Museum will house Harold and Nancy LeMay’s extensive collection of classic and vintage automobiles – the largest of its kind in the world. A major tourist attraction with an estimated 500,000 visitors a year, it is projected to add direct and indirect benefits to the local economy, starting most immediately by creating nearly 165 construction jobs in the building of the first phase.
Following NDC’s engagement with the project, the Tacoma City Council unanimously approved a $3.6 million loan agreement with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for a period of seven years. The funding is through the Community Development Block Grant program, used by many local governments to spur economic development in urban areas. NDC uses such HUD loans to leverage additional equity through its national allocation of New Markets Tax Credits (NMTC). This program was designed to help distressed communities by catalyzing private sector investments that create jobs and enhance access to capital for small businesses and community development.
“We’ve been working to invigorate downtown Tacoma through many of our projects,” said Martha Anderson from the Community and Economic Development Department of the City of Tacoma. “The LeMay Car Museum is not only an exciting opportunity, but the kind of attraction that puts Tacoma on the map as a travel destination. We expect more than half a million visitors to the museum in its first year and anticipate 90 new full-time positions when construction is complete. Without NDC’s assistance in structuring this highly complex financing transaction, the project would have been at risk, especially in these tough economic times.”
NDC has been involved in similar financing for many well know projects throughout the Pacific Northwest including the Pike Place Market redevelopment, Educare Early Learning Center and the White Center Square Retail Center.
The museum, which broke ground on June 10, is slated to be built over the next 16 months and has been a source of excitement for city officials, residents and car enthusiasts alike. The start of construction was marked by an event held June 10 at 3:00 p.m. in the museum’s future site near the Tacoma Dome.