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Mission Driven Finance, Civic San Diego and the Alliance Healthcare Foundation announced an investment partnership Wednesday to support the nonprofit Access Youth Academy’s construction of an athletic and academic facility in southeastern San Diego.

According to the partnership, Access Youth Academy intended to build the $12 million facility on a vacant lot but lacked pre-development funding to qualify the project for new markets tax credit financing. To help Access Youth Academy get over the pre-development hill, Mission Driven Finance, Civic San Diego and the Alliance Healthcare Foundation announced they will offer an $800,000 bridge loan to the academy, allowing construction of the facility to proceed.

“We find new markets tax credit investments exciting because they bring outside capital into our low-income communities. However, significant up- front costs in these complex transactions make it challenging for smaller organizations to tap into these transformative programs,” said Mission Driven Finance CEO David Lynn. “Taking a flexible approach to finance allows us to close gaps like this for Access Youth Academy and get more kids going to great colleges.”

Access Youth Academy helps mentor and develop students from seventh grade to two years post-college through the sport of squash. According to the academy, colleges and universities often have unused scholarships for squash players. Because of that availability, students from the academy have earned roughly $6.3 million in college scholarships since 2002.

“This was a deep investment in young members of our community in recognition of the ripple effects the Access transformational program provides,” said Elizabeth Dreicer, Alliance Healthcare Foundation’s interim executive director. “We are pleased to now also assist Access in relocating to their new home through our Program Related Investment (Impact Investment) program in partnership with Mission Driven Finance and Civic.”

Once completed, the facility will sit one block north of Market Creek plaza near Horton Elementary School, according to the academy.

–City News Service