WCIDA OKs refinancing of bonds for Vulcan Village

October 4, 2017

Washington County Industrial Development Authority Wednesday approved refinancing of bonds for California University of Pennsylvania’s Vulcan Village apartments.

The board voted 4-0 to approve $28 million in refinancing and $3 million in additional work on the 16-year-old apartment complex, which has capacity for 770 students.

The request came from Student Association Inc., a nonprofit that oversees the apartments.

WCIDA President Jeff Kotula said the authority provides tax-exempt financing by acting as a conduit to a bank, and no taxpayer money is used.

The Vulcan Village project is being underwritten by KeyBanc Capital Markets, and the investor/bond purchaser is Hamlin Capital Management.

During a conference call, Keith Skirpan, senior housing accountant for SAI, explained the additional money for repairs came as a result of a needs assessment requested by KeyBanc, which asked that SAI add metal seamed roofing and replace metal stairwells with galvanized steel ones.

He said the work would be completed in 24 to 36 months.

Skirpan added that the additions would enhance the complex while allowing SAI to continue to take advantage of the debt service savings.

He said the apartment complex, which becomes available to Cal U. students after they complete their first four semesters in the university’s dormitories, currently has an occupancy rate of 85 percent.

He added with Cal U.’s recent 3.1 percent increase in enrollment, the occupancy rate at the apartment complex should increase, but noted that it maintained the 85 percent rate when the university’s enrollment was static over the past couple of years.

Tax-exempt bonds were originally issued in 2000 and 2003 to construct Vulcan Village. SAI asked WCIDA to do the refinancing to take advantage of lower interest rates.

Michael Bradwell has been business editor for the Observer-Reporter since 1995, and was named editor of The Energy Report in 2012. He joined the newspaper in 1990 as a general assignment reporter in the Greene County bureau and has also worked as a copy editor. A 1974 graduate of Pennsylvania State University with a degree in English, he began his career at the Bedford (Pa.) Gazette. Prior to joining the O-R, he served as public relations director for Old Bedford Village, account executive at two Pittsburgh public relations agencies and copywriter for the country’s largest wholesaler of mutual funds.

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