WASHINGTON — The District of Columbia will issue $99.43 million of tax-exempt revenue bonds for the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund to finance construction of a new museum.
The negotiated sale is expected to take place a short time after Labor Day, according to representatives with HJ Sims, which is serving as underwriter. HJ Sims is looking to sell the bonds with yields priced at par between 6% and 7.5%, depending on the maturity.
The National Law Enforcement Museum will be a 57,000 square foot facility in the Judiciary Square area of D.C., across from the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial. It will have interactive exhibits that tell the story of American law enforcement, and it will educate people about fallen officers, said memorial fund spokesman Steven Groeninger.
The museum's groundbreaking took place in late 2010. Phase II of the project, involving the completion of exhibition and construction documents, is being finished. Phase III of the project, which involves digging the hole and building the shell for the largely underground museum, is about to start. The museum is expected to open in 2015, Groeninger said.
"Many HJ Sims employees and clients are eager to support the museum for personal reasons, and in most cases, because they have a direct tie to law enforcement through a family member or friend," Aaron Rulnick, managing principal at HJ Sims, said in a news release. "As such, being involved in the bond financing is a way to support and honor these individuals who put their lives at risk to serve and protect."
About $26 million of money raised by the memorial fund has been spent on museum pre-development, construction and artifact acquisition costs. Of the bond sale proceeds, $68.7 million will go to the project fund, whose money can be released to pay construction bills. The rest of the proceeds from the sale will go to reserve funds, a capitalized interest account and the cost of issuance, according to the preliminary official statement and HJ Sims representatives.
There will two bond series. The $77.98 million in Series A is expected to be serviced by general fundraising activities from the memorial fund as well as from museum admissions and merchandise sales. Capital contributions that are expected to come in the next five years will be used to pay the $21.45 million of Series B bonds.
The bonds will not be rated. Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP is serving as bond counsel for the sale.