GLENDALE, Ariz., July 21, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- AVANA Capital has provided an $11.5 million loan to Field of Dreams, LLC, which is using the funds to build a youth sports complex in Manalapan, NJ. Named Sportika, the two-story, 170,000 square foot complex will be the largest youth sports facility in the tri-state area.
The site for Sportika spans 22 acres on Woodward Road, near the intersection of Route 33. Soccer, baseball and basketball will be the core sports with other sports introduced over time.
"The idea for Sportika came out of my frustration with sub-par sports facilities for my three kids," said David Hocheiser, founder of Field of Dreams. "The existing sports complexes in the area were over-utilized and under-equipped. Demand existed for a facility with superior amenities."
To test their idea, Field of Dreams opened a temporary location called "Mini-Sportika" in Howell, NJ in 2014. This proof-of-concept facility soon had 40 teams of players in various sports and used 25,000 square feet of space.
With confidence in their concept, the Field of Dreams team approached AVANA Capital to fund the construction of a full-sized Sportika. "AVANA understood our business model from inception," Hocheiser said. "They recognized that our project would touch thousands of families in a positive way and add jobs to the community."
AVANA Capital agreed with Field of Dreams' assessment that an upscale indoor sports complex in Manalapan, NJ would meet many needs. "The project had all the right elements," explained Payal Bhatia, loan underwriter for AVANA Capital. "The large youth population in the area and limited space for local sports events pointed to unsatisfied demand," Bhatia said.
AVANA Capital also noted that Mini-Sportika had already outgrown its rented space and that the full-sized Sportika would employ 75 staff members when complete.
Once AVANA Capital underwrote the full $11.5 million amount, the project was submitted to the Small Business Administration (SBA) and approved as an SBA 504 loan.
Seeking to create "the ultimate sports experience," the Field of Dreams team decided the Sportika complex would include:
- 1 soccer field, also usable for lacrosse, football, etc.
- 1 outdoor turf field
- Turf areas for baseball training
- 7 basketball courts, also usable for volleyball, field hockey, etc.
- 4 rooms for birthday parties, yoga, meetings, etc.
- 3,000 sq. ft. TV lounge
- Academic Center for tutoring
- 3,000 sq. ft. for personal training
"This facility will strengthen our community," Hocheiser said. "We want to help young people develop a healthy, active lifestyle and gain skills for success on and off the field. We hope to inspire athletes of all ages and abilities to reach their full potential."
Field of Dreams broke ground on Sportika in March 2016. Construction should be complete by late December 2016. It will employ 75 staff members once complete.
Hocheiser and the Field of Dreams team believe Sportika New Jersey is only the first of many Sportika franchises to be built across the U.S.
AVANA Capital supports the plan for more Sportikas. "We're excited to be involved at the ground floor of this endeavor," said Sanat Patel, co-founder and CSO of AVANA Capital. "Our flexibility as a non-bank lender allows us to work with entrepreneurs and fund promising ventures like Sportika that benefit local communities, grow the economy and generate jobs."
About AVANA Capital
AVANA Capital is a nationwide commercial real estate lender specializing in SBA financing for niche businesses. Founded in 2002, the company has funded $850 million in loans, resulting in 9,000 jobs created and saved across the country. www.avanacapital.com.
SOURCE AVANA Capital