NHPR Finances 20,000 Square Foot Space with $6 Million Loan

With 39 fulltime employees and signals reaching 90% of the state’s population with news and information, the only thing small about New Hampshire Public Radio (NHPR) was their building.

Cramped cubicles, mazes of extension cords and a makeshift recording studio were part and parcel of day-to-day operations at NHPR. This behind the scenes view was invisible to the 150,000 weekly listeners who rely on NHPR’s quality programming for local, national and global news. Accustomed to NHPR’s high level of service, listeners were requesting additional programs and more online content. To grow editorially and expand services, NHPR needed to find a larger space with infrastructure that supported digital technologies.

In spring of 2007, NHPR located a 20,000 square foot space on the south side of Concord for their state-of-the-art broadcast center. NHPR started a capital campaign and contacted Public Radio Capital for assistance with the financing process. PRC helped NHPR prepare a business plan and presented NHPR’s case to several reputable national financial institutions. Through PRC’s assistance, NHPR secured a $6 million tax-exempt bond financing with Boston-based Zions Public Finance as an underwriter and TD Banknorth as the letter of credit provider. The financing includes highly favorable interest rates, no prepayment penalties and a thirty year term. NHPR’s debt will be repaid with a combination of capital campaign proceeds and operating revenue.

“Public Radio Capital’s help with this project has been invaluable. Bond financing is a complex transaction, one that NHPR had never attempted. With financing in place, the board has given us the green-light to begin construction. We’re well on our way to securing public radio in New Hampshire for the next generation, with these excellent financing terms, NHPR can grow sustainably and better serve our listeners,” commented NHPR President Betsy Gardella.

The new building is currently under construction and NHPR is scheduled to move in sometime in December 2008. The building will include a community gathering space that seats approximately 75 people to host political debates, produce shows will live audiences and music performances.