In August, IFF closed loans totaling approximately $22.1 million for eight community-driven projects in the Midwest, while also closing funding to a New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) project that provided an Indiana nonprofit with a $4 million NMTC allocation. We’ve included information below about several of the loans and what the organizations that received them are doing with the capital. To learn more about IFF’s lending, visit our Capital Solutions page.
Chicago Neighborhood Initiatives and Hope Center Foundation
IFF closed a $6.5 million loan that enabled the acquisition of an 8.8-acre site in Chicago’s Pullman neighborhood that will be redeveloped through a joint venture between Chicago Neighborhood Initiatives (CNI) and Hope Center Foundation (HCF) known as Pullman Gateway. The capital will also support predevelopment work on the site before construction begins on a restaurant/retail hub that will be comprised of six separate pads that house national franchises. Longtime stakeholders in the Pullman neighborhood, CNI and HCF are co-developing new homes in the area and providing financial literacy programming to assist aspiring homeowners. The restaurant/retail hub will provide food access and jobs to future residents and further the joint vision and mission of CNI and HCF as the nonprofits collaborate to revitalize the community. Additionally, the project will strengthen the balance sheets for both organizations, enabling them to apply capital to more community projects and programming. Once completed, the development will create an estimated 250 permanent jobs, while also supporting 225 short-term construction jobs.
Community Education Network
IFF closed a $6.5 million loan for Community Education Network (CEN) – doing business as It Takes a Village Family of Schools (ITAV) – a nonprofit that seeks to strengthen communities by providing access to high-quality, culturally responsive education and social services. The capital enabled the organization to acquire a 9.1-acre property in Chicago’s Bronzeville neighborhood and will help complete renovations to a 100,000-square-foot building located on the site.
The project – which is the first of three phases of construction planned for the campus – made it possible for ITAV to consolidate several of its programs and its administrative offices to one location, saving the organization approximately $37,000 per month. In fall of 2024, 300 K-8 student seats are projected to be available. After the next two phases of renovations are completed on the campus, ITAV will create 150 new early childhood education slots and 240 seats for high school students – completing a strategic goal to offer a birth through career pathway. The fully renovated campus will serve more than 700 young people, while also offering outdoor space for physical education, organized sports, urban agriculture, and more. IFF’s Real Estate Solutions team provided support for the project, and additional financing was provided by Chicago Community Loan Fund.
Evergreen Real Estate Group
IFF closed a $1 million loan that provided a subsidiary of Evergreen Real Estate Group with predevelopment financing for a 120-unit affordable housing project in Lafayette, IN. The project will rehab an existing project-based Section 8 development that predominantly serves families called Cambridge Estates II – preserving the affordability of the property and modernizing the units. Cambridge Estates II offers 68 one-bedrooms apartments and 52 two-bedroom apartments ranging in size from 596- to 859-square-feet. The Low Income Housing Tax Credit-supported development is located along a major commercial corridor and educational resources, providing residents with convenient access to local amenities.
Global One Urban Farming
IFF closed a $32,100 bridge loan for Global One Urban Farming (Global One), a nonprofit located in Kansas City, MO, that produces and distributes organic vegetables to seniors, veterans, and families to better the health of communities in the Kansas City area. Volunteers from schools, churches, and neighborhood organizations help maintain a 1.5-acre plot of land that generates more than 30,000 pounds of produce annually, and the loan from IFF will enable Global One to proceed with an expansion of their farm operations while awaiting reimbursement for grant funding awarded to the organization by Kansas City’s Neighborhood Tourist Development Fund program and ReBuild KC. Planned upgrades include building farm-related structures on the site, providing utility connections, and purchasing equipment/materials for the farm.
HUGE Improv Theater
IFF closed two loans totaling $2.45 million that provided HUGE Improv Theater (HUGE) with the capital needed to acquire a 15,730-square-foot facility in Minneapolis’ Lowry Hill East neighborhood and complete renovations to a section of the building that will serve as the nonprofit’s permanent home. HUGE strives to provide an inclusive environment where people of all ages, economic, and ethnic backgrounds can come together to learn and develop long-form improv skills.
The new location includes a 125-seat black box theater that will enable HUGE to sell 25 more tickets to its shows than it could in the past, an ADA-accessible tech booth, two large classrooms that will make it possible for HUGE to enroll more participants in its classes, a green room, dedicated storage space for props and other materials needed for the organization’s programming, three ADA-accessible bathrooms, and a large lobby with a bar that will further increase the revenue HUGE accrues with each performance. Additional financing for the $3.25 million project was provided by Propel Nonprofits, a long-time IFF partner. Read more about the project and its impact in our recent story, “HUGE Improv Theater Bounces Back in the Twin Cities.”
SER Metro Detroit
IFF closed a loan of $2,782,000 that will facilitate construction on a building in Detroit, MI, that SER Metro Detroit (SER) operates as a youth reengagement center, serving young people ages 16-24 who are disconnected from school or work. SER offers opportunities for underemployed, unemployed, and out-of-school Detroit youth and young adults to access education, vocational training, employment, and support services while earning their high school diploma. The project consists of the renovation of existing space and the construction of an additional 3,033 square feet of classroom space. The completed project will increase enrollment capacity by 75 student seats.
YMCA of Muncie
IFF closed a New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) deal that provided the YMCA of Muncie (the Y) with a $4 million allocation to develop a new, 69,000-square-foot facility in Muncie, IN, that will consolidate two outdated YMCA locations to one state-of-the-art building. The new space will be situated on the campus of Muncie Central High School and will provide high-quality space to several partner organizations in the community, including Open Door Health Services, a Federally Qualified Health Center; Teen Works, a youth services nonprofit focused on workforce development; Indiana University Health; Ball State University’s Healthy Lifestyle Center; and a three-way workforce development partnership between Muncie Area Career Center, Muncie Community Schools (MCS), and the Y. Services provided will include comprehensive health care, assistance with completing requirements for high school diplomas, English as a second language classes, and professional certifications.
The Y was founded with a mission to strengthen the community through youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility. Each individual location is tailored to the community’s specific needs, and the Y in Muncie focuses on health care, wellness, and workforce development programming. The organization serves more than 20,000 people annually – many of which reside in under-resourced communities. Additional sources of funding and financing for the $31 million facility project include PNC (which is serving as the investor for the NMTCs), Southside Community Optimal Redevelopment Enterprise, First Merchants Bank, MCS, and agency equity.