Perhaps the most challenging aspect of a project like our Nelson Commons development is securing the necessary funding. Fortunately, the Kootenay Co-op has been saving for this next move for many years now and has committed $2.25 million of its own funds towards securing a new home. This, combined with the Co-op’s very successful $1.8 million member loans program this past October, has gone a long way to building credibility with prospective funders. It’s clear that the initiative has strong support amongst Co-op members and the Nelson community at large.
Speaking of Nelson, we have had great support from the Nelson and District Credit Union which has given us the initial $2.3 million mortgage on our new land purchase. The organization is also offering a line of credit for development costs and is ready to be both an equity partner and lead player in securing our construction loans. When we are ready to complete our new store build-out, we will be turning to the Credit Union for our long term mortgage.
Given the significant size of our project, it was necessary to bring in an additional major lender; fortunately, we were able to find a willing partner in Vancity—Canada’s largest credit union and all round good guys here in BC. Vancity has been a strong supporter of our project, in part because ‘co-ops helping co-ops’ is a core principle of the cooperative movement. They will likely be both an equity player as well as our major lender for the construction loans. In addition, on the equity front, we have our builder ITC/Intertech Construction contributing generously.
The funding has come together quite nicely with lenders who are aligned with our own values and principles. We feel privileged to have secured their support and appreciate the confidence they give us, and our buyers, moving forward.