CASA Multicultural Center
CASA de Maryland, Inc. (CASA), Maryland’s largest advocacy group for Latinos and immigrants, redeveloped the historic McCormick-Goodhart Mansion in Langley Park, Md., into the CASA Multicultural Center. The new center will allows CASA to double the number of beneficiaries the organization can serves each year from 3,000 to 6,000 and consolidated most of its staff into one location. CASA will also subleted 400 square feet of the new space to four of its non-profit nonprofit partner organizations.
The CASA Multicultural Center contains 14,000 square feet of usable space. The basement level was lowered to enable the development of an additional 7,000 square feet of space. The completed rehabilitation restores both the interior and exterior of the mansion to its original historic appearance and created administrative offices and multipurpose space for CASA staff and clients.
A Green Advantage
The CASA Multicultural Center was built to U.S. Green Building Council LEED Gold standards, incorporating green, sustainable design into the rehabilitated structure. The facility includes such features as a sustainable green roof and a geo-thermal HVAC system.
Enterprise provided $7.9 million in New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) allocation to the project from its fifth round NMTC award. Additionally, the CASA Multicultural Center benefits from federal and state historic tax credits (HTC). Bank of America, through an affiliate, is the NMTC and federal HTC equity investor and also provided a bridge loan. CASA has also actively sought additional project funding from various sources, including a federal appropriation from U.S. Sen. Barbara Mikulski and additional funding from the governments of Prince George’s and Montgomery counties.
Located just three miles north of Washington, D.C., Langley Park is a culturally diverse community of about 16,000. According to the U.S. Census, nearly 65 percent of people residing in Langley Park are foreign-born, and 62 percent are recent immigrants who have arrived in the area since 1990. The development of this new facility will allow CASA to better target and serve a community with diverse and pressing needs.
CASA estimates that 75 percent of its beneficiaries earn less than $25,000 per year, a staggering amount in one of the most expensive areas of the nation. The CASA Multicultural Center provides an array of services to low-income families in the community, including educational, vocational and employment services; and English as a Second Language (ESL) services. The CASA Multicultural Center has strong support from Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown, Sen. Barbara Mikulski, and other state senators and delegates. Approximately 50 temporary jobs were created during the construction.
This project will alleviate CASA’s overcrowded staffing conditions. Through the consolidation of workspace, CASA will be able to gain significant operating efficiencies. In addition, the subletting of space to partner nonprofits that work with other cultures and communities in the area will allow the organization to expand its reach to other underserved populations in Langley Park.
CASA of Maryland is a community organization that was founded in 1985 by Central American refugees and North Americans. CASA was created in response to the human needs of the thousands of Central Americans arriving to the D.C. area after fleeing wars and civil strife in their countries of origin. CASA’s primary mission is to work with the community to improve the quality of life and promote equal treatment and full access to resources and opportunities for low-income Latinos and their families. CASA also works with other low-income immigrant communities and organizations, and advocates for social, political and economic justice for all low-income communities.
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