The Cade Museum for Creativity and Invention closed on $3.2 million in financing made possible by the New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) program. The NMTC Program provides up-front equity that allows the project to begin immediately.
Construction will begin in April on a 21,000 square foot building in downtown Gainesville’s Depot Park, which will be completed by mid-2017. The building, designed by GWWO Architects of Baltimore, will be built by Oelrich Construction, a Gainesville-based firm. The total Phase 1 project value is approximately $9.5 million.
Named after Dr. J. Robert Cade, the lead inventor of Gatorade, the Cade Museum provides hands-on science, fabrication, and entrepreneurship classes to middle-school children. Many of these classes are taught by world-class researchers and inventors, whom the Museum has connected to the community through the statewide annual Cade Museum Prize for Innovation.
The NMTC program was created in 2000 by Congress to encourage the flow of private investments into low-income, economically distressed areas in need of revitalization, such as Depot Park. The program is highly competitive, and very few Gainesville projects have received NMTC financing. To secure the financing, the Cade Museum partnered with the Orlando-based Florida Community Loan Fund (FCLF) and Chase’s Community Development Banking NMTC business, a leading provider of finance solutions that help low-income communities across the nation. To date, FCLF has secured over $217 million in NMTC allocation awards which have helped create high social impact through 15 Florida projects.
To close the deal, the Cade Museum worked closely with Gainesville’s Community Redevelopment Agency, which has spearheaded the Depot Park restoration project for the last 12 years. The Museum was advised throughout the NMTC financing process by SB Friedman Development Advisors of Chicago, and Center State Bank of Florida has provided key bridge loan financing to complete the construction phase of the project.
To date, the museum has received significant support from Alachua County, the City of Gainesville, the Community Foundation of North Central Florida, Santa Fe College, the Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce, Gatorade, the John Templeton Foundation, and private donors throughout the community and the state.