Pacific Northwest College of Art (PNCA)
The partnership between Prosper Portland and the Pacific Northwest College of Art that resulted in PNCA’s campus at 511 N.W. Broadway was a long-term effort, beginning in 2002 with a letter to the General Services Administration from John Russell (then the agency’s board chair) expressing a strong desire to see the 511 building redeveloped.
Prosper Portland’s 2011 predevelopment grant to PNCA fostered the college’s development of the project and its production of a complete set of architectural plans, a robust capital campaign and a finance plan for the relocation of the college to the 511 Building. And in 2013, the Prosper Portland Board under the guidance of Chair Scott Andrews authorized the financial support that took this project the rest of the way.
Prosper Portland made a commitment of more than $20 million to the project – in a creative way that matched the creative mission of the college itself. The agency has made big investments or grants, but the size and structure of the PNCA loan represented a new moment for Prosper Portland.
“There still isn’t a lender out there that could have done this deal the way[we] structured it,” said Board Chair Tom Kelly. “The role we play is still unique in terms of our ability to take the kind of risk, be the kind of patient lender and do the ownership piece without making the transaction costs prohibitively high for the institution. No one else can step up and do the deal the way we’ve done it, and that’s an ongoing role for us as a public agency.”
The deal deployed an array of tools, including the historical monument transfer process, historic tax credits, new market tax credits and multiple Prosper Portland programs, including the predevelopment grant of $740,000, bridge financing of up to $12.7 million, and redevelopment loan funds up to $7.6 million. What’s more, the project complied with the agency’s Equity and Green Building policies, and paid prevailing wages.
The college celebrated its move to the new campus in early March 2015, a location that bridges the Pearl District and Old Town and holds much promise for invigorating the neighborhood. While Prosper Portland provided the project with a $20 million loan package, one of the largest in the agency’s history, the school’s fundraising efforts were so successful it didn’t borrow the full amount.
Pacific Northwest College of Art moves into light-filled new home, David Stabler, The Oregonian, 3/5/15