SunTrust Community Capital (STCC), a subsidiary of SunTrust Banks, Inc., announced today that it is providing $3.5 million of New Market Tax Credit (NMTC) equity, coupled with a $5.1 million bridge loan from SunTrust to support the expansion of the Atlanta Youth Academy’s (AYA) private school campus which serves Pre-K – 8th grade students. The NMTC were provided through a partnership with Atlanta Emerging Markets Inc. (AEMI), a certified community development entity created by Invest Atlanta.
The 45,600 square foot expansion project will help provide high-quality primary education to low-income students across the Atlanta region, and is located in the Norwood Manor/Thomasville Heights neighborhood in southeast Atlanta. The project will result in the expansion of the current school staff from 25 to 35.The new school facility will also allow enrollment to grow from 150 students to 225 students. Construction is anticipated to be complete in time for the 2020-21 school year.
“The Atlanta Youth Academy provides critical access to education and enrichment to our community’s youth. A modern and expanded campus will allow them to serve more students, employ more teachers, and ultimately have a highly positive impact on the immediate and broader Atlanta community,” said Ron Alston, senior vice president at SunTrust.
“We are thrilled with the potential impact of our relationship with SunTrust and Invest Atlanta. The true impact will be measured by the lives that are changed for generations to come for our students and their families. Beyond the school impact, the neighborhood will be greatly enhanced by the academy’s work and the great contribution made by the New Market Tax Credit team,” said Peter Rooney, president of AYA.
AYA currently operates out of a collection of modular buildings and recently bought the adjacent blighted collection of industrial buildings to the north of its property, which have stood vacant decades. AYA plans to renovate one of the structures, demolish the remaining structures, and build a new building to serve as the new expanded permanent campus of the school. The new campus will feature 15 classrooms, six breakout spaces, nine offices, a conference room, a renovated gymnasium, a dining hall, a library, and a chapel/auditorium, as well as outdoor playground areas.
The AYA has a mission of serving low-income, urban communities with high quality, Christian-based education. When AYA officially launched as a school in 1997, it was comprised of one classroom, one teacher and nine students. AYA has grown significantly in the last 20 years, adding students and grades each year, and graduating the first eighth grade class in 2004. Today, AYA provides a college preparatory curriculum on par with top independent schools and an 11:1 student to teacher ratio. The results of AYA’s program are strong: 100% of eighth-grade graduates go on to complete high school, and 98% matriculate to college.
SunTrust Community Capital is a national leader in the NMTC program, having closed on approximately $1.4 billion in Qualified Equity Investments. SunTrust Community Development Enterprises, LLC has received nine awards of NMTC allocation, totaling $578 million.
SunTrust Banks, Inc. (NYSE: STI) is a purpose-driven company dedicated to Lighting the Way to Financial Well-Being for the people, businesses, and communities it serves. SunTrust leads onUp, a national movement inspiring Americans to build financial confidence. Headquartered in Atlanta, the Company has two business segments: Consumer and Wholesale. Its flagship subsidiary, SunTrust Bank, operates an extensive branch and ATM network throughout the high-growth Southeast and Mid-Atlantic states, along with 24-hour digital access. Certain business lines serve consumer, commercial, corporate, and institutional clients nationally. As of June 30, 2019, SunTrust had total assets of $222 billion and total deposits of $161 billion. The Company provides deposit, credit, trust, investment, mortgage, asset management, securities brokerage, and capital market services. Learn more at suntrust.com.
AEMI is a U.S. Treasury-certified Community Development Entity created by Invest Atlanta in 2006 that specializes in providing gap financing for projects that create jobs and revitalize Atlanta’s distressed neighborhoods. The property, business, and affairs of AEMI are managed by a nine-member board of directors.