Entrepreneurs Clean Up with 504 Funds to Launch The Laundry in SF’s Mission District
Capital Access Group (www.capitalaccess.com), a commercial real estate lender specializing in U.S. Small Business Administration 504 loans for growing businesses, recently helped entrepreneurs Gianmatteo Costanza and Andrew Swerdlow to secure project financing to purchase and rehabilitate a disused 8,950-square-foot building at 3359 26th Street, San Francisco, California, in the heart of the City’s Mission district. The building, a former industrial laundry, was the inspiration for Costanza and Swerdlow’s business, The Laundry, a flexible art space for people “who are concerned with creating and changing the world in the widest sense,” according to Costanza.
“We saw this industrial laundry that had been built by French immigrants in the 1930s as an opportunity to form a special place for creators to build and share their work,” said Gianmatteo Costanza, Co-owner, The Laundry. “We wanted to maintain the heritage and unique architecture of the original building, but we also wanted to invest in remodeling the building to bring it up to code, make it fully ADA accessible and support our future business needs.”
The Laundry features a café with a local coffee roaster and an art gallery that is reserved for community members during the day and doubles as an event venue in the evening for workshops, lectures, immersive theatre, and events that combine technology and art.
“We knew we needed a special lender who would allow us to develop a different kind of business model — one with many working pieces,” said Costanza. “It required imagination from the lender, so we were very happy that Capital Access was open to listening to our out-of-the-box approach.”
“The SBA 504 loan was the perfect solution for Gianmatteo and Andrew,” said Cara Rudy, Vice President, Capital Access Group. “The 504 program’s low, 10 percent down payment allowed them to preserve working capital to invest in growing the business. The long-term, fixed interest rate gives them the reassurance they need to plan for the future.”
“The SBA 504 loan is a long-term financial deal that allows entrepreneurs to plan and grow with confidence and not be subjected to the whims of the market,” said Costanza. “We own the space and control it fully, and now we are hiring people and becoming a good employer.”
“I have only praise for Capital Access Group,” said Costanza. “They are really good partners. Our business plan anticipated having all of these disparate elements coming together, and we would not have been able to implement the full vision without this kind of backing.”