YMCA of Metropolitan Atlanta Leadership and Learning Center*

Atlanta, GA

When the Atlanta YMCA, active in Atlanta for the last 160 years, wanted to strengthen its outreach and ensure that community members have equitable access to their resources, programming, and support, they envisioned a comprehensive Leadership & Learning Center.  But to fundraise 100% of the cost to create it would indefinitely delay the establishment of such a place.

MBS UI made a New Markets Tax Credit investment in the project to ensure that the services of the “Y” could be equitably distributed. The Leadership & Learning Center provides 54,400 square feet for YMCA and Head Start administrative offices, six early learning model classrooms, an innovation lab for regional staff training, a farm-to-market grocery, and community use. The six Head Start classrooms serve approximately 70 to 90 children per year.

The Center’s farm-to-market grocery brings convenient, fresh, and healthy food options, including fruit, vegetables, and “grab-and-go” meals, to a food desert and provides opportunities for local farmers to distribute their products.

The Center also provides teacher training to benefit approximately 3,200 children annually. As the new regional YMCA training center, 1,500 non-early learning YMCA team members from across the Southeastern United States are trained at this facility in numerous aspects of healthy living, youth development, and social responsibility annually. The space utilized for employee training is also available for use by local nonprofits and for community meetings.

The new Head Start slots bring high-quality early childhood education and after-school programming to low-income children in the community. The Center also contributes to the educational enrichment of school-age children through summer day camps and after-school programming. The Backpack program gives away over 15,000 meals annually to low-income children outside of school hours.


This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

Quick Facts 

Square Footage: 54,400 SF

Total Investment: $25,447,077

Developer: YMCA of Metropolitan Atlanta

Owner: YMCA of Metropolitan Atlanta

Allocatees: MBS Urban Initiatives CDE, SunTrust Community Capital, Invest Atlanta

NMTC Equity Investor: SunTrust Bank

Architect: Collins Cooper Carusi Architects, Inc.

Direct lender and leverage lender: SunTrust Bank; YMCA of Metropolitan Atlanta

Community Partner(s): Westside Works, City of Atlanta, Atlanta Public Schools, Westside Health Collaborative, First Source Jobs

Construction Jobs: 71 FTEs

Permanent Jobs: 25 FTEs