North Avenue Capital (NAC), a specialized commercial lender headquartered in Northeast Florida, has announced the closing of a $5 million USDA Rural Development loan to Planet Swim, LLC, a swim school for all ages that plans to build a state-of-the-art aquatic and tennis facility in Nocatee. Planet Swim offers year-round swim lessons and swim team options and will soon add a range of tennis capabilities, along with a certified training staff that includes Olympic, USPTA, and NCAA athletes.
NAC’s loan will be used to construct Planet Swim’s primary location, which will include a 50-meter Olympic-size outdoor pool, an indoor teaching pool, 7 clay tennis courts, spectator seating, locker room accommodations, and more. Only minutes away from area schools Ponte Vedra High, Nease High, Valley Ridge Academy and Palm Valley Academy, the new site will allow Planet Swim to expand upon its mission of offering the life skill of swimming and water safety to children and adults in the community, as well as attract world-class events to St. Johns County
Owner and NCAA All-American Swimmer, Gus Calado, launched Planet Swim in 2009 and has established a strong customer-base and an ever-expanding waiting list of families excited for the additional capacity accompanying the Ponte Vedra facility. For years, Calado has dreamed of bringing a best-in-class experience to as many students as possible. “The recent growth in northeast Florida has increased demand for sports and recreation outlets accessible to those living outside of country clubs,” he said.
NAC Commercial Lender, Jason Hoerr, introduced Gus to the USDA Rural Development Program, paving the way for a public-private partnership that promises immediate impact on the local economy. Ben Chatraw, NAC Chief Executive, said, “This loan is a great example of how NAC is partnering with entrepreneurs and the USDA to finance projects that bring meaningful economic development and job-creation to communities across the country, including those right here in our backyard."
Learn more about Planet Swim at www.planetswim.org.