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Tech CU finances $4.5M for historic theater rebuild

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SAN JOSE, Calif. (1/28/14)--Technology CU funded a $4.5 million loan to the owners of a historic Redwood City, Calif., theater that is set for renovation and community growth.
 
Owners Eric and Lori Lochtefeld bought the Fox Theatre out of foreclosure in 2010 and plan to turn it into a venue for retailers, office space and the performing arts.
 
"This financing opportunity is unique because the theater is such an important landmark on the Peninsula," said Niki Wong, senior vice president of commercial/Small Business Administration lending for the $1.75 billion-asset credit union.
 
"As a local lender, we appreciate being involved in supporting the preservation of a historic property, while also seeing the business opportunity Eric and Lori envision for the future," Wong added.
 
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Fox Theatre is nearly 90 years old, having started out as a movie theater.
 
"Tech CU's lending team structured the refinancing of this property to the benefit of our business model and investment strategy," said Eric Lochtefeld.
 
The San Jose, Calif., credit union's loan plays into the role of how credit unions can support local businesses and better the economy. The Lochtefelds plan to turn the mixed-use property into an area for retail, office and entertainment space.
 
The Credit Union National Association has been urging Congress to allow credit unions to play a larger role in helping small businesses through MBLs. The statutory cap on MBLs loans, as a proportion of credit union's assets, is currently 12.25%. CUNA says that raising the federal government-mandated ceiling to 27.5% would inject $13 billion into the economy, and help boost employment by 140,000 at no cost to taxpayers.