New Jersey Community Capital Surpasses $110 Million Milestone in Financing Leveraged for Expansion of New Jersey Charter Schools

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NJCC's Innovative Financing Enhances Educational Opportunities for NJ Students.

Wayne T. Meyer, President of NJCC

We are proud of all our charter school partners, which are positive forces in their neighborhoods and key elements in our sustainable community development efforts.

New Jersey Community Capital (NJCC) of Trenton--a non-profit loan fund that supports community-based enterprises--recently surpassed $110 million in financing leveraged for the expansion of charter schools throughout New Jersey. This significant milestone highlights the organization's dedication to providing innovative financing solutions to high quality charter schools that have the power to enhance the lives of children in many underserved communities. Since 2004, the organization has closed or participated in more than $47 million in charter school loans, leveraging over $110 million in development costs for 17 charter school campuses across New Jersey.

NJCC began providing charter school financing six years ago, after traditional banks were unable to meet the lending needs of charter schools that needed to develop their facilities. Unlike traditional public schools, charter schools do not receive any funding for building, buying, or leasing facilities. Despite this funding disadvantage, NJCC noted that many charter schools provided an educational choice for parents living in neighborhoods where the district schools were underperforming. This opportunity to increase student success compelled NJCC to get involved. Today, the organization offers flexible financial structures including acquisition loans, construction and renovation loans, predevelopment loans, letters of credit, and some mini-permanent financing, which allow charter schools to create facilities that enhance their students' academic achievement.    

New Jersey Community Capital's commitment to charter schools was recognized in 2006 by an $8.15 million grant from the US Department of Education, which gave the organization the ability to credit enhance charter school facility loans. During that same year, NJCC also received the Corporate Partnership Award from the New Jersey Department of Education for its efforts to support quality public school choice in the state.

"Schools have always played a vital role in a community's well-being," said Wayne T. Meyer, President of New Jersey Community Capital. "But charter schools provide a unique opportunity to promote healthy lifestyles, innovative educational choices, and community-based anchor institutions all at the same time. We are proud of all our charter school partners, which are positive forces in their neighborhoods and key elements in our sustainable community development efforts."

New Jersey Community Capital was one of the first Community Development Financial Institutions to offer charter schools facilities financing, extending one of its initial loans to the Greater Brunswick Charter School in 2004. NJCC coordinated the financing that allowed the Greater Brunswick Charter School to purchase a 40,000 square foot building on Joyce Kilmer Avenue and make it the stable foundation on which to continue building the school's excellent educational program. This initial loan gave the school the ability to develop half of the building and serve 260 students. Teachers and parents actively collaborated with the building's architects to design the space, which is specifically tailored to support the student-directed, constructivist educational philosophy of the school.

In 2009, NJCC assisted the Greater Brunswick Charter School again, securing a predevelopment loan that allowed for the renovation of the remaining 20,000 square feet of space in the building. This will give the school the capacity to serve over 400 students in its rigorous and engaging academic environment.

"Our on-going relationship with New Jersey Community Capital has been integral in shaping the successful school that we are today," said Rick Pressler, founder and former executive director of Greater Brunswick Charter School and current interim director of the New Jersey Charter Schools Association. "NJCC gave us the capacity to create the enriching educational facility that not only benefits our students, but the surrounding community as well. Greater Brunswick Charter School provides a boost to local property values and is a source of pride in the neighborhood--all the while, educating the children of our community."

Like Greater Brunswick Charter School, NJCC has formed continuing partnerships with several charter schools managing their growth over the years. One such example is NJCC's first charter school borrower, Jersey City Community Charter School. New Jersey Community Capital provided the financing for the initial acquisition and development of the school's facility. Today, NJCC is financing a new expansion project that will provide additional space for approximately half of the school's nearly 600 students beginning in September 2011.

With more than 11,000 students currently on charter school waiting lists, the growing need for charter school facilities financing will no doubt continue throughout the state. New Jersey Community Capital is prepared to continue to help meet this demand through innovative financial solutions that enhance educational opportunities and move communities forward.

"I have no doubt that New Jersey Community Capital's $110 million in leveraged financing for charter schools is just a start," continued Rick Pressler, interim director of the NJ Charter Schools Association. "The organization has been at the forefront of facilities financing because its staff understands that quality education--at its very core--is the foundation of vibrant and stable communities."

About New Jersey Community Capital:
New Jersey Community Capital (NJCC) is a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit organization that facilitates the flow of money and knowledge to create wealth and well being in underserved communities. In addition to its financing activities, New Jersey Community Capital provides technical assistance and training programs, conducts research regarding its impact and social return on investment, and disseminates information about itself and the industries it serves. Since its founding in 1987, New Jersey Community Capital has committed financing for approximately 680 projects totaling nearly $260 million in the housing, community services, and business sectors. New Jersey Community Capital has been acknowledged by various partners throughout its history. It received the 2003 Excellence Award for Community Impact for demonstrating its efforts have made a difference in the communities it seeks to serve. It also received a Corporate Partnership Award from the New Jersey Department of Education in 2007 in recognition of its efforts to support quality public school choice for all families in the state through its leadership, creativity, and commitment to equality and excellence in education. For more information, please visit: http://www.newjerseycommunitycapital.org.

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