What is going to happen in that building that cannot happen now?
November 14th, 2007Being the CEO of a community foundation is both an honor and a privilege AND it keeps me humble! Yes the tables are turning - NOW we are initiating a capital project working on the purchase of the landmark building known in Grand Rapids as the Anheuser Busch Icehouse and it is wonderful! After a long search for a building to call home for the Grand Rapids Community Foundation, we landed on this beautiful property a few months ago and have been working on all the details of the purchase, financing, and the whole new world of "commercial development".
Tom and Mickie Fox have pledged a generous million dollar gift to get us moving in the right direction and are so grateful to them! In fact, Tom has had the vision of the foundation having its own home for quite some time! With gratitude to a great team from Grubb & Ellis, we are hoping to close before the end of 2007. I'll chronicle some of our learnings at some point in this blog. The key points we wanted to announce are found in our November 13th press release found on our home page.
We debated for the past few years about whether to make a move to purchasing a building - this was not a quick decision. Our key question? "What is going to happen in our own building that we cannot accomplish in our current office?" Here are just a few things:
* Expanded meeting and conferencing space - hosting seminars, major problem solving sessions around key community issues, donor events, opening up the space to the community for meetings. Collaboration is the cornerstone for the Foundation and the leading community problem solving entities like the Kent County Family and Children's Coordinating Council expect that from us!
* Partnering with the Johnson Center for Philanthropy for local, regional and national sessions bringing together foundations and other philanthropic leaders to advance key learning in our field.
* Knowing that we have invested in a property in the core city to help insure that our city is vibrant, thriving and growing now and into the future.
* Saving precious financial resources - as a good steward of our resources we applied for New Markets Tax Credits and have a commitment from National City Bank and Community Development Corporation. This allows us to defray the out-of-pocket costs of the purchase and rehab of this 100 year old building.
* Along the same lines, we project that we will save $100,000 a year in our operations after two years.
More to come. . . we are excited and look forward to a very bright future addressing the funding and critical needs of our community!