For immediate release
January 21, 2010
PeopleFund’s Groundbreaking Ceremony Held at Construction Site of New Building
Jack McDonald, Will Meredith and Other Supporters Gear Up with Hard Hats & Shovels to Kick Off Construction of LEED Silver Certified Center For Economic Opportunity
AUSTIN, January 21 — PeopleFund is hosting a Groundbreaking Ceremony on Monday, January 25th from 11- 11:30AM to officially kick off the construction of its new permanent home—the Center for Economic Opportunity. The new facilities will provide comprehensive services to small businesses and low- to moderate-income homebuyers, and will provide affordable shared office space to small businesses and non-profit organizations.
“The current financial climate calls for renewed focus on economic opportunity, and for leadership to build sound and equitable systems that ensure financial stability for all,” said Margo Weisz, Executive Director of PeopleFund. “Our vision is to build a Center for Economic Opportunity – a lively place where the community can gather to meet each other, to learn new skills and to grow our economy in a way that ensures all boats rise”.
Pedro Garza (Regional Director of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Agency), Jack McDonald (PeopleFund Board Chair), Margaret Shaw (Director of NHCD), and Will Meredith (Principal at MFI Real Estate) will make brief remarks. Small group photos will follow the ceremony.
Who: PeopleFund Staff, Board Members, and Friends
When: Monday, January 25th from 11:00 – 11:30AM
Where: Construction Site of Center for Economic Opportunity
2921 E. 17th Street (one block south of MLK, on the corner of Miriam and 17th Street)
Visuals: Supporters and members of the project team will be holding gold-plated shovels and hard hats. In the background, construction equipment and the colorful buildings of Chestnut Commons. To the left, the new MLK Light Rail stop.
Located between Chestnut Commons and the MLK Light Rail stop, the land for the building was donated to PeopleFund by the Meredith Family and MFI Real Estate, L.L.C. in 2009. “The Meredith Family and the MFI Real Estate team are incredibly grateful and humbled to have PeopleFund establish their Center for Economic Opportunity within the Chestnut Plaza Non-Profit Village in East Austin,” said Will Meredith, Principal at MFI Real Estate. “PeopleFund’s mission of providing and leveraging financial services for the communities of Austin is critical for advancing Austin’s collective future and sustaining its prosperity. It is our sincere hope PeopleFund’s services will motivate young business people, develop healthy and sustainable home ownership, and foster pride and further strengthen the communities of East Austin.”
In conjunction with $1.9 million dollars from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Agency, PeopleFund received an additional $500,000 from the City of Austin in Community Development Block Grant Recovery (CDBG-R) funds awarded by HUD (as part of the Recovery Act) for the construction of the building. A host of individuals and businesses have also provided contributions to the project. The 10,000 square-foot, LEED Silver-certified building is scheduled to open in August 2010.
Available for 1:1s
- Margo Weisz, PeopleFund Executive Director / [email protected] / 512.789.8223
- Jack McDonald, PeopleFund Board Chair / [email protected] / 512.531.6000
- Will Meredith, Principal at MFI Real Estate / [email protected] / 512.637.9565
- Margaret Shaw, Director of Neighborhood Housing & Community Development / [email protected] / 512.921.4615
City Council Members in Attendance:
- Mayor Pro Tem Mike Martinez
- CM Laura Morrison
- CM Randi Shade
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PeopleFund is a Central Texas non-profit organization dedicated to creating economic opportunity through small business loans, affordable housing initiatives and community outreach. Since its inception in 1994, PeopleFund has loaned $21.6 million to small businesses such as Escuelita del Alma Learning Center, RCR Auto Repair, Ecology Action, Rosy’s In-Home Health Care Services, Blue Dahlia, Juan in a Million and numerous other small businesses. PeopleTrust, an affiliate of PeopleFund, specializes in affordable home-ownership by providing innovative and responsible financing opportunities. PeopleTrust has assisted 134 families achieve home ownership since 2008. For additional information, please visit www.peoplefund.org .