Founder of Genius Kids leverages the 504 program to buy an administrative facility, setting her up for growth and success

Capital Access was thrilled to help Rennu Dhillon, president and founder of Genius Kids, secure $2M through the SBA 504 program to purchase a 2,713-sf building in Fremont, CA. This was Rennu’s second SBA 504 loan through Capital Access Group.
Genius Kids is an award winning, accelerated learning center and franchise that focuses on providing children with the communication, confidence, and leadership skills that are essential for success in life. The original Genius Kids learning center, opened in 2001, has expanded to a total of eight schools operated by Genius Kids, Inc. Genius Kids Development, which runs the franchise operation, currently oversees 26 franchise units.

Property ownership is fundamental to Rennu’s business growth strategy, and the SBA 504 loan program, which features low down payment, fixed-rate, and long-term financing, was “very attractive.”

“I love real estate, and I would prefer to write my mortgage payment to a bank where I’m going to own the building and pay it off in 20 years rather than paying the money to a landlord. A building that generates revenue is the best investment one can make,” said Rennu.

“What I liked about the whole program is not the program as much as the people—working with the Capital Access Group team—they really guide you and advise you. They’re setting you up for success,” said Rennu.

Owners of Starline Social Club avoid “a catastrophic moment” by purchasing their building with SBA 504 funds before their lease expired

Capital Access recently helped the owners of Starline Social Club to secure $2.4M in total project financing to buy the building they were leasing, a three-story, 8,519-s.f., historic, Victorian building located in Oakland.

Artists Adam Hatch and Drew Bennett, and restauranteur Sam White, co-founders of the Starline Social Club, are passionate about investing in the Oakland community. The trio leased the original site of the Order of Odd Fellows Lodge, an unconventional building in disrepair, and transformed it into a safe and inclusive bar, restaurant, and social art space with multiple venues and event spaces for live music, dancing, jazz, karaoke, and more, all under one roof.

“As we were founding the business and renovating the space, we were excited about the idea of trying to buy the building,” said Drew Bennett, Co-Director, Starline Social Club. “A lease expiring is often a catastrophic moment for a business. When the opportunity arrived, we knew we had one shot to make an offer.”

Starline’s team of business advisers recommended the SBA 504 loan, primarily for its low down payment, and referred them to Alan Jung, SVP and Chief Credit Officer at CapitalAccess Group, to facilitate the process.

“The loan will allow us to make serious improvements—upgrades to the HVAC system, ADA access—things that will help to improve and expand our business which, of course, leads to more business and more jobs,” said Drew. “Right now, we employ 40 people, and now that we’ve secured the SBA loan, we’ll be able to create even more jobs.”

“We are invested in the diversity of our community and creating an environment that positively reflects the spirit of Oakland—through our employees and our clientele.”