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Nature Conservancy nets another $1M for building

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Lilly Endowment will give The Nature Conservancy in Indiana $1 million for its headquarters building, possibly reducing the need for extensive borrowing.

The grant brings the amount raised for the $8 million project to $5.1 million. Those pledges are to be paid over five years, but the new building is under construction and scheduled to be completed at the end of February.

The Nature Conservancy had not raised enough to cover its costs when construction began last spring. The state chapter has been paying its construction-related bills through a line of credit with its parent organization and may take out a bank loan, Director of Philanthropy Betsy Smith said.

The Lilly Endowment grant is paid immediately, however, so it raises the organization's cash-on-hand to $3.5 million, Smith said. With other pledges being paid, The Nature Conservancy may reduce its projected borrowing, she said. Smith could not say exactly how much the organization may borrow.

The Nature Conservancy's building will replace rented space on North Delaware Street. Even if the organization had borrowed the entire $8 million, Smith said, it would have saved about $560,000 within 20 years by constructing its own headquarters.

The new building, at 620 E. Ohio St., is in the Coles-Noble neighborhood and features reclaimed brick, a landscaped roof, and on-site water reclamation.

“Lilly Endowment is pleased to add our support to that of many others for this innovative building project,” endowment President N. Clay Robbins said in a prepared statement. “The fact that the project advances the conservation mission of the Conservancy while helping to rejuvenate an important urban neighborhood is compelling.”

Take IBJ's guided tour of the new TNC building here.

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