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MassDevelopment Issues $134,545,000 in Bonds on Behalf of Emerson College to Support Paramount Center, Colonial Building Improvements

June 28, 2010

Kelsey Abbruzzese, MassDevelopment, 617-330-2086
David Rosen, Emerson College, 617-824-8457

MassDevelopment has issued $134,545,000 in tax-exempt and taxable bonds on behalf of Emerson College in Boston. The proceeds will be used primarily to reimburse the College for previously unfinanced costs it incurred in building The Paramount Center and the purchase and renovation of the Colonial Building, as well as future miscellaneous capital improvements. Emerson will also use bond proceeds to refinance existing tax-exempt debt, saving the school $1,054,000.

“Emerson College has done wonders in renovating the Paramount Theatre and revitalizing the Theatre District and Downtown Crossing, and we're pleased we can continue to support the school in those endeavors,” said MassDevelopment President and CEO Robert L. Culver.

The college is rated ‘A-' by Standard and Poor’s, and the debt was sold based on the college’s credit rating. In 2006, MassDevelopment also provided an $80,975,000 financing package for Emerson to fund The Paramount Center and the renovation of the upper floors of the Colonial Building on Boylston Street for use as a residence hall.

The Paramount Center project included renovating the historic Paramount Theatre and converting it from a movie house to a live performance venue with 590 seats. Other facilities included a 125-seat black box theater, a 170-seat film screening room, nine rehearsal studios, practice rooms, a sound stage, classrooms, faculty and staff offices, and housing for 262 students. Renovation of the upper floors of the Colonial Building provides housing for 357 students.

Located in Boston, Massachusetts, opposite the historic Public Gardens and in the heart of the city's Theatre District, Emerson is the only four-year private college in the United States devoted to teaching communication and the arts in a liberal arts context. The College has 3,453 undergraduates and 837 graduate students from across the United States and 40 countries. Supported by state-of-the-art facilities and a renowned faculty, students participate in more than 60 student organizations and performance groups, 14 NCAA teams, student publications, honor societies, television stations including the Emerson Channel, and WERS-FM, the nation's highest rated student-run radio station. Emerson is internationally known for its study and internship programs in Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., the Netherlands, Taiwan, and the Czech Republic.

MassDevelopment, the state's finance and development authority, works with businesses, financial institutions, and communities to stimulate economic growth across the Commonwealth. During FY2009, MassDevelopment financed or managed 229 projects statewide representing the investment of nearly $1.2 billion in the Massachusetts economy. These projects are supporting the creation of 1,488 new housing units and 8,232 jobs: 3,362 permanent and 4,870 construction-related.