Arent Fox Expands Award-Winning Project Financing Program for Nonprofits and Public Institutions
NEW YORK, NY — In an effort to set a new standard for “smarter and faster” project financing options for non-profit institutions that will accelerate overall project delivery, Arent Fox LLP has launched an award-winning Mission-Ready Capital Improvement Solution for its clients. Initially targeting public and private non-profit universities, hospitals/healthcare systems, and other large 501(c)(3) organizations, the offering is designed to fast-track the financing, design, and construction of major social infrastructure projects at a time when non-profits face severe budget constraints amidst a mounting need for expansion and capital improvements.
Co-led by James Frankel, head of the firm’s Construction group, and Richard Krainin, head of the firm’s Nonprofit practice in New York, the Mission-Ready offering brings together a team of attorneys from the firm’s Finance, Real Estate, Construction and Tax practices, to help public and non-profit clients undertake capital-intensive projects. The project has succeeded by introducing key clients from the financial, architectural, engineering, and construction industries to facilitate this Mission-Ready capital improvement solution.
“Our program is designed to help public and nonprofit institutions advance their big-ticket pipeline projects most effectively, at the lowest cost and with the shortest timetable,” Mr. Frankel said.
Mr. Krainin added, “We are providing a coherent, unified solution and team for critical project creation. Our integrated approach is mission-ready to address capital needs of non-profits across sectors.”
Under development for the past year, the team has already undertaken several successful projects, including advising a leading west coast academic medical center on expanding its hospital capacity in strategic, targeted areas. Working with an architectural firm represented by Arent Fox, a financial advisor and an investment bank, Arent Fox helped the medical center evaluate ownership, development and financing approaches for building a new free-leaning hospital facility to accomplish the center’s goals. The team’s analysis was shared with the rating agencies before being presented to the medical center.
In other projects, the firm and its partners recommended financing alternatives for a healthcare system seeking to create multiple medical malls to provide a host of outpatient services convenient to residents in the system’s primary service areas. The approach is also being applied to on-campus power plants, energy upgrades and student residence facilities. Arent Fox is currently assisting one of its clients with the financing for a student residence facility to be constructed on the campus of the host university.
The program’s early successes have been noticed. Arent Fox, Mr. Frankel and Mr. Krainin were recognized as 2012 law firm innovators by Financial Times based on the initial engagements by the Capital Improvements initiative.
“The strong feedback in the effort so far is a result of bringing together project stakeholders from all corners — developer, engineer, architect, builder, financial advisor and decision-makers within the institution,” Mr. Krainin explained. “Our mission ready team of lawyers is being brought into the discussion much earlier in the process, helping to provide legal advice on structuring the transaction at the most favorable terms for these social infrastructure projects.”
Although the firm is first gearing the Mission-Ready effort for public and nonprofit projects, the potential exists to expand the services into the private sector, including in the areas of energy efficient and telecommunication infrastructure improvements. Mr. Krainin noted that private businesses could benefit from creative solutions to conventional funding of infrastructure projects.
“We think we’ll see a lot more opportunity for fast-track project financing, design and construction in these sectors,” said Mr. Frankel. “And as that occurs, our ability to structure, finance and implement large development projects should be a significant advantage.”