In 2007, part of the New Markets Tax Credits program, Clearinghouse CDFI funded a $12.5 million below-market rate loan and $5.2 million equity investment providing permanent financing for a theatre in the downtown Old Town Salinas Redevelopment District. The City of Salinas built a parking structure available for the theatre and other business in the surrounding area.
Maya Old Town Cinemas was completed and started operations in July 2005. The 55,000 square feet theatre features 2,700 seats in 14 screens with stadium seating and state-of-the-art projection and sound technology. Its mission is to provide first class entertainment experience to the local undeserved and overseen population. The project is located in the heart of downtown Salinas, CA leading a resurgence of surrounding economic activity and has replaced several vacant and derelict buildings and lots in the area. The theatre employs approximately 60 people between full and part time.
This project is part of the downtown Old Town Salinas Business Redevelopment District and will bring several thousands of people into the area because of the theatre. Before the theatre was there, the area was a very economically depressed zone of the City. Local businesses have seen a large increase in their business revenues due to the increased amount of people coming to the theatre. Since the theatre was constructed, there are now several new commercial buildings being constructed and new Hilton Hotel is being developed across from the theatre.
The development process took several years in part because we were a new company. The financing was also a challenge because Maya Old Town Salinas 14 was the Company’s first project and because downtown Salinas was a very economically depressed area with a lot of damaged old buildings surrounding the site. Maya was able to get permanent financing for the project with the support of the NMTC program.