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USDOT Announces Closing of First Loan to Support Transit-Oriented Development in Washington

MT. VERNON, WA — The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) announces that its Build America Bureau has approved its first Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) TIFIA loan for up to $26.8 million for the Mt. Vernon Library Commons Project in Washington state. The project includes a multi-use building with a public library, community center, meeting rooms, commercial kitchen, parking garage, public restrooms, STEM center, computing space, and numerous electric vehicle (EV) chargers. The project, slated to be completed this summer, encompasses half a city block in downtown Mount Vernon, Washington, and will be a short walk from Skagit Station, Skagit County’s multi-modal transportation center.

“Having a library, public restrooms, a community center, and a kitchen all under one roof — and only steps away from Skagit station — will be a major benefit for the people of Mount Vernon,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said. “This is the first of what we hope will be many TOD loans that will make vital resources more accessible to more people, especially historically overlooked communities.”

The Mt. Vernon project is not just a building, but a new community asset. It will provide EV charging along the I-5 Alternative Fuel Corridor, install sidewalk and signalized crosswalk improvements in line with ADA compliance, reduce the building’s ecological footprint through low-carbon architecture and solar power generation, and catalyze the local and regional economy by encouraging private investment in nearby mixed-use development.

The project is financed through the Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act’s (TIFIA) Rural Project Initiative for up to 49 percent of the project costs with an interest rate equal to half the Treasury rate. As a rural project, USDOT was able to provide additional financial support by waiving advisor fees.

In addition to the loan from the Build America Bureau, USDOT’S Federal Highway Administration awarded the City of Mount Vernon $12.5 million in funding through the Charging and Fueling Infrastructure Discretionary Grant Program for fiscal year 2022-2023 to install 78 EV charging ports in the project’s parking garage. The project design allows for another 200 charging ports in the future, creating what could be the nation's largest regional EV charging hub.

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