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TMCNet:  U.S. Bank Provides Financing for Discovery Science Center Expansion into Los Angeles County

[January 17, 2013]

U.S. Bank Provides Financing for Discovery Science Center Expansion into Los Angeles County

LOS ANGELES --(Business Wire)--

U.S. Bank will provide $4.7 million of New Markets Tax Credit equity (NMTC) financing to help Discovery Science Center (DSC) open a second facility located in San Fernando Valley's Hansen Dam Recreation area.

DSC received approval and funding from the City of Los Angeles in early December to take over the vacant building near Hansen Dam, which was originally for the Children's Museum of Los Angeles. The building has been empty since it was built in 2007. The tentatively named Discovery Science Center - Los Angeles (DSC-LA) will not only bring new life to the vacant building, it will create approximately 50 full-time, 150 part-time and 250 construction jobs during the transformation.

U.S. Bank made its investment through a community investment subsidiary, U.S. Bancorp Community Development Corporation in partnership with Los Angeles Development Fund, a Community Development Entity (CDE) and non-profit established by the City of Los Angeles to administer its NMTC allocation authority award. U.S. Bank also allocated an award of NMTCs in support of the project through its own CDE, USBCDE.

The San Fernando Valley facility will be approximately the same size as DSC's location in Santa Ana, which receives over 500,000 guests annually and reaches an additional 220,000 students through outreach programs in local schools. The mission of DSC is to provide educational experiences in science, technology, engineering and math through outreach programs to local schools and exhibits at the center, while also providing professional development courses to over 1,000 teachers annually in the region.

"Discovery Science Center has a unique, engaging approach to educating youth in math, science and technology," said Sean Foley, regional president for U.S. Bank in Southern California. "Supporting education is important to U.S. Bank, so we take great pride in supporting DSC with financing to help it expand its services to L.A. County."

Through strategic agrements with agencies and companies, such as the Metropolitan Water District of Orange (News - Alert) County, Golden State Water Company, County of Orange, THINK Together, Waste Management, and the Samueli Foundation, DSC's credentialed teaching staff directly provides in-school, hands-on educational programs throughout Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and Los Angeles Counties. DSC also awards over 7,000 free scholarship field trips each year for low-income and underserved children, who otherwise lack access to adequate science, math and technology education.


U.S. Bank has provided more than $90,000 in grant support to DSC over the past few years, and Fred Helms in U.S. Bank's commercial lending group in Orange County is a member of DSC's board of directors.

About Discovery Science Center - Orange County
Imaginations run wild through more than 100 hands-on exhibits at Discovery Science Center, Orange County's leading destination for hands-on science fun. Take the Eco Challenge and become a green superhero, feel the power of a real rocket engine "launch", explore the inner workings of a two-story tall dinosaur and try your best slap shot against the Anaheim Duck's goalie. Traveling exhibits and annual events such as Spooky Science and Bubblefest throughout the year ensure that there is always something new to discover. Currently on display is Indiana Jones and the Adventure of Archaeology, an interactive exhibit experience following Dr. Jones through the four famous films. Since 1998, Discovery Science Center has been a non-profit organization dedicated to educating young minds, assisting teachers and increasing public understanding of science, math and technology through interactive exhibits and programs. Open daily from 10am - 5pm. For further information, call (714) 542-CUBE or visit discoverycube.org.

About Los Angeles Development Fund
The Los Angeles Development Fund (LADF) is a California non-profit corporation established by the City of Los Angeles in September 2006 to manage its New Markets Tax Credit program. LADF is certified by the U.S. Treasury Department's Community Development Financial Institutions Fund as a Community Development Entity and has been awarded $125 million in allocation. LADF uses its allocation to support qualified projects within the City of Los Angeles. For projects financed, see ladfnewmarkets.org.

About the New Markets Tax Credit Program
The New Markets Tax Credit Program (NMTC Program) was established by Congress in 2000 to encourage the investment of private capital in designated low-income communities in order to create jobs, generate economic activity and improve the quality of services in low-income communities and to low-income persons. The NMTC Program attracts investment capital to low-income communities by permitting individual and corporate investors to receive a tax credit against their federal income tax return in exchange for making qualified equity investments in specialized financial institutions called Community Development Entities (CDEs). Capital raised by the CDEs is then used to provide below-market financing to qualified businesses in low-income communities. The credit totals 39 percent of the original investment amount and is claimed over a period of seven years. For more information, visit cdfifund.gov.

About U.S. Bancorp Community Development Corporation
With more than $10.8 billion in assets as of Dec. 31, 2012, U.S. Bancorp Community Development Corporation, a subsidiary of U.S. Bank, provides innovative financing solutions for community development projects across the country using state and federally sponsored tax credit programs. USBCDC's commitments provide capital investment to areas that need it the most and have contributed to the creation of new jobs, the rehabilitation of historic buildings, the construction of needed affordable and market-rate homes, the development of renewable energy facilities, and the generation of commercial economic activity in underserved communities. Visit USBCDC on the web at www.usbank.com/cdc.

About U.S. Bancorp
U.S. Bancorp (NYSE: USB), with $354 billion in assets as of Dec. 31, 2012, is the parent company of U.S. Bank, the 5th largest commercial bank in the United States. The company operates 3,084 banking offices in 25 states and 5,065 ATMs and provides a comprehensive line of banking, brokerage, insurance, investment, mortgage, trust and payment services products to consumers, businesses and institutions. U.S. Bancorp and its employees are dedicated to improving the communities they serve, for which the company earned the 2011 Spirit of America Award, the highest honor bestowed on a company by United Way. Visit U.S. Bancorp on the web at www.usbank.com.


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