Westside Neighborhood School (May 2024)

Westside Neighborhood School is a private independent school in West Los Angeles serving some 590 Preschool-8th grade students.  We operate out of three leased buildings, and have been seeking to own our own property for the last decade. In October of 2023 we discovered an opportunity for building ownership that would transform our school financially and programmatically, allowing us to replace some 66,000 sf of classroom space for 132,000 sf sitting on 5 acres of land in Playa Vista, and just 700 feet from our current campus. We were in a position to purchase a $100 million property for under $50 million!  It was a dream come true, but the sellers were not going to take us seriously if we could not demonstrate a reasonable path to financing, which became a $90 million tax-exempt (Federal and State) public bond issue that would include construction funds under the guidance of HJ Sims.  

With the odds for a successful bond placement stacked against us: no Conditional Use Permit (CUP) in place, the encumbrance of the leases on our existing campus buildings, and initial skepticism within the bond market as to the financial viability of our deal; In partnership with HJ Sims, we successfully met each of these challenges head on, and the result was receiving bond purchase offers that were over 10X our $90 million funding target. Our deal closed, we are successfully moving through the CUP process, and poised to move into our new Campus home in Fall 2026, none of which would have been possible without the expertise, faith and patience of our team at HJ Sims.”

– Brad Zacuto, Head of School

Partnered Right®

Westside Neighborhood School (WNS) is a premier private, independent school serving preschool through eighth grade students in the Playa Vista neighborhood of Los Angeles, California. 

The school’s hands-on, minds-on, constructivist, and project-based learning approach combines the power of a growth mindset, the tools from a strong social-emotional program, and the opportunities to apply all of this to a nearly limitless range of learning experiences.

Structured Right®

The Series 2024 Bond proceeds were used to fund the purchase and construction costs of its new campus, a loan pay off, capitalized interest, a debt service reserve fund, and costs of issuance. HJ Sims helped WNS obtain a new, BB/Stable S&P rating for the Series 2024 Bonds. The bonds have a call option in 7 years at a redemption price of 102%, declining to par by year 9.

Executed Right®

The bonds have 5 term bonds, with coupons at par ranging from 5.00%, to a 6.375% on the 40-year maturity. During initial pricing, the total issuance was oversubscribed by 12.3x, with 6 different institutions each placing initial orders to buy the full $90 million in bonds. For final pricing, Sims was able to lower the yield on each term bond by 10-13 basis points.

In all, 22 different institutional investors participated in the transaction.

Financed Right®

On May 15, 2024, HJ Sims successfully closed on the $90 million Series 2024 Bonds.

For more information, please contact:

Robert Nickell


John Solarczyk 


Testimonials may not be representative of the experience of other clients. Past performance is no guarantee of future results