Pender Community Development, Inc. is seeking to develop a community center in rural Pender, Nebraska to provide daycare services, wellness facilities, and other ancillary services, education, and entertainment. The 37,500 square foot Center will be situated in the center of Pender and is expected to serve as the center-point for community and regional activities.
Pender is a small, rural community located in northeastern Nebraska with a population of approximately 1,000. Local community residents, along with the Pender Community Hospital, have identified a lack of childcare within Pender as an employee recruitment and retention concern. Without the ability to provide affordable, reliable childcare to Pender’s working parents it is becoming increasingly difficult to attract quality talent to fill open jobs and grow the economy. To alleviate this issue, the Project will feature a childcare center that will be operated by the Pender Community Hospital and will be the only publicly available childcare provider in a 15-mile radius, per data provided by the Sponsor. Additionally, according to the Sponsor, there are no fitness facilities within twenty minutes (18 miles) of Pender. Local school district gym spaces are overbooked for most of the year with high school, junior high, and youth club teams vying for practice space as well. The Sponsor team has identified an Anytime Fitness franchisee that is currently planning to lease space at the Center to operate a health and wellness facility. Anytime Fitness has indicated that its membership offerings will be priced affordably so that all low-income persons and/or community residents will be able to take advantage of the services provided. The Sponsor is also working with the Pender Public School District to work out a plan for the District’s utilization of the Center for after-school childcare and athletics/recreation. The School has strong policies on affordability and the programs will be free of charge and/or targeted to at-risk children.
Furthermore, the Project will feature an event hall with a stage, a kitchen, and meeting space to be used for educational, recreational, community, and private events. The Sponsor also indicated that the meeting space and offices will be targeted for use by various Veteran groups, given the Project location adjacent to Veterans Memorial Park.
- Poverty Rate 27.4%
- 08 x the National Unemployment Average
- Federally Designated Medically Underserved Area
- Federal Indian Reservation
- 5 FTE jobs created
- 56 Construction jobs
The Project is located in a severely distressed and medically underserved census tract within an underserved state for NMTCs as designated by the CDFI Fund. It will provide needed services to the distressed community by allowing increased access to health and wellness care that is lacking in the rural community. Also, the Project will provide daycare services and space available to local Pender School District students and other community organizations, including Veterans groups. It is anticipated that the center will provide expanded services to roughly 279 LIPs and roughly 795 LIC-Rs while providing 15 total full-time jobs, with up to 3 of the total jobs expected to be accessible to low income persons in this medically underserved community.