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CEDA Closes $12.6 Million Tax-Exempt Loan with Orangewood Real Property LLC, Samueli Academy

CEDA Closes $12.6 Million Tax-Exempt Loan with Orangewood Real Property LLC, Samueli Academy

OrangewoodAugust 2016—The California Enterprise Development Authority (CEDA) is pleased to announce the recent closing of a $12.6 million tax-exempt financing deal with Orangewood Real Property LLC (Samueli Academy), a prominent supporter of services to foster youth and notable education provider in the City of Santa Ana, California.

Orangewood Real Property LLC’s sole member is Orangewood Foundation, an organization which provides various services to support current and former foster youth in the critical areas of basic needs, housing, life skills & employment, and education.  The organization owns the facilities leased to Samueli Academy, a charter high school located in Santa Ana, California which, in its third year of operation, served about 375 students in grades 9 through 11 with enrollment expected to reach around 500 students this academic year with a full student body (grades 9-12). The Academy offers scholastic achievement based on creative, sustainable and entrepreneurial approaches and was established as an answer to the low high school graduation rates among teens in Orange County, including teens in foster care served by Orangewood Foundation.  The Academy prides itself in providing structure for youth in foster care and plans to expand its enrollment of and services for foster youth in the coming years.

“The Samueli Academy is a high performing, college-preparatory public charter high school that provides our foster and under-served teens consistency, stability and a community in which to belong, thrive, and grow into successful, independent adults,” noted Santa Ana Mayor, Miguel Pulido. “This financing tool will undoubtedly enhance their capacity to create a learning environment that maximizes individual student attention and equips students for a bright future.”

Orangewood Real Property LLC sought tax-exempt funding from CEDA to finance and refinance costs related to development, construction and improvements of the Samueli Academy campus.  With this financing, the organization can benefit from notable savings in the effective interest rate, which can ultimately be used to offer enhanced services to more youth.

“Samueli Academy offers an excellent education program with services focused on foster youth.  CEDA is proud to be the tax exempt financing issuer for this organization which supports this specialized and important area of service,” said Gurbax Sahota, President and CEO of the California Association for Local Economic Development (CALED).  CALED is the professional economic development organization that created CEDA to expand economic development financing opportunities and maximize availability of capital for businesses.  CEDA offers tax-exempt financing for 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations and small- to medium-sized manufacturers as well as PACE financing.

Farmers & Merchants Bank (F&M), who served as the bank in this project, is one of the oldest and strongest financial institutions in California, with over $6 Billion in assets and one of the top 150 banks in the US, and is a strong supporter of 501(c)(3) tax-exempt financing.  F&M Senior Vice President and bank representative on this deal, Jeff Spinelli, says “For almost 110 years, F&M Bank has been proud to partner with such wonderful organizations as Orangewood, and we have been honored to help them in their mission.”

Orangewood Chief Financial Officer John Luker had a positive experience working with the CEDA financing team, saying “The entire team was very organized and walked us through each step of the process. Due to this refinance, we will be able to invest over $1 million into the lives of our foster and community youth instead of financing costs.”

About CEDA:  In 2006, CALED established CEDA, a Joint Powers Authority (JPA), to address gaps in Economic Development financing.   CEDA is committed to providing alternative financing options to manufacturers, 501(c)3 non-profits, and California communities, with the ultimate mission of supporting economic development.  To learn more about CEDA, please visit its web site at