December 2022 Loan Round-up January 1, 2023

In December, IFF closed loans totaling approximately $13.6 million for 14 community-driven projects in the Midwest, in addition to providing a credit enhancement to a charter school. 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.

Axtell Community Grocery

IFF closed a $275,000 loan for Axtell Community Grocery, which enabled the newly opened, full-service grocery store in rural Axtell, KS (pop. 398) to purchase coolers, freezers, check-out counters, a point-of-sale system, and initial inventory for its grand opening in January. Additionally, the loan provided the store with working capital to support its start-up operations. Owned by 37 residents of Axtell and surrounding towns and the nonprofit Axtell Economic Development Corporation through an LLC, the grocery store is a community response to the planned closure of the town’s only grocery store after no buyers expressed interest in purchasing the business. A steering committee was formed, which determined the most viable option to keep a grocery store in the community was to purchase the previous store’s building, demolish it due to the numerous repairs required to make it operable, and to build a new, 7,600-square-foot facility to house the store.

To facilitate the project, community members and local businesses contributed nearly $470,000, which was supplemented by a grant from the Kansas Healthy Food Initiative, a zero-interest loan from Axtell Economic Development Corporation that will be forgiven in five years if the store continues to operate, and the IFF loan.

Gorman & Company

IFF provided a loan of approximately $2.5 million to Gorman & Company for a $30 million, mixed-use project in Kenosha, WI, that will support the community in a variety of ways. The 151,346-square-foot facility will include 71 new one-, two-, and three- bedroom apartments for residents earning less than 60 percent of the Area Median Income (AMI) that will be known as the Uptown Lofts, as well as a 9,600-square-foot full-service grocery store, a 2,577-square-foot restaurant, and a 7,000-square-foot public library branch.

The development will replace five buildings destroyed by fire during a period of civil unrest in the city following the police shooting of Jacob Blake, providing several local business owners with the opportunity to reopen, increasing the supply of quality affordable housing in the community, and increasing access to healthy food in a neighborhood considered a “food desert” by the federal government. The project is being funded and financed through a myriad of public and private sources, including 4 percent Low-Income Housing Tax Credits, the City of Kenosha, the Kenosha Area Business Alliance, the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority, and the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, among others.

Legacy Charter School

Since 2005, IFF has been a grantee in the U.S. Department of Education’s Credit Enhancement program, which awards funding to organizations to address the cost of acquiring, constructing, and renovating facilities by enhancing the availability of loans and bond financing. IFF typically deploys its credit enhancement to charter schools seeking capital from the bond market and commercial banks to drive down their interest rates, provide debt service reserve funds, and make it easier and more affordable for charter schools to borrow capital.

In December, IFF provided a $500,000 credit enhancement to Legacy Charter School (Legacy) in Chicago’s North Lawndale neighborhood for a debt service reserve. Formed in 2005, the K-8 school serving 462 students operates out of a 61,000-square-foot facility built new in 2015. The $23.8 million project utilized New Markets Tax Credits (NMTCs), with IFF providing a $15 million allocation, Low Income Investment Fund (LIIF) providing a $9 million allocation, and Chase providing a $4.75 million allocation (and serving as the equity investor). IFF also provided $4.5 million in leverage loans in partnership with LIIF, plus a $260,000 credit enhancement. The NMTC project matured in December, and providing the new credit enhancement enabled Legacy to pursue the 25-year bond market with the ability to refinance in 10 years without penalty. After the issuance of the Series 2022 Bonds and the refinancing of the maturing NMTC debt, Legacy has no outstanding indebtedness, other than such bonds.

For more information about IFF’s USDOE Credit Enhancement program for charter schools, please contact IFF’s Capital Solutions team.

National Youth Advocate Program

IFF closed a loan of approximately $1.72 million dollars for the National Youth Advocate Program (NYAP) to purchase and renovate a 22,000-square-foot building in Newark, OH, that will serve as a regional hub for the organization. Founded in 1978, NYAP fosters independence through sustainable, family-centered programs and advocacy, and operates in 10 states through local service sites. The organization’s programming includes outpatient mental health care for youth, specialized foster home arrangements and coordination, emergency shelter care, supervised apartment/independent living, advocate support services, and other social services dictated by the community and child welfare systems. The new hub will provide centralized administrative services to NYAP’s regional operations, provide space for future growth, improve the organization’s cash flow by reducing facility expenses by approximately $45,000 annually, and help NYAP build net assets.

North Bend Senior Residences

IFF closed a loan of approximately $1.4 million to finance the acquisition of property and preconstruction activities required to develop 60 affordable homes for seniors earning less than 60 percent of the Area Median Income (AMI). To be known as the North Bend Senior Residences, the rental units will be spread between single-family homes, attached duplexes, and triplexes in Fairview Heights, IL.

The project is expected to achieve “green” certification, with the homes featuring one- and two-bedrooms with energy star-rated appliances. All homes will have the infrastructure necessary for broadband internet connection, in addition to having access to amenities that will include garage parking and a community clubhouse with on-site property management, a fitness center, media center, and community room. Additional sources of funding and financing for the 9 percent Low-Income Housing Tax Credit project include US Bank, the Illinois Housing Development Authority, and general partner equity.

Respond Now

IFF closed a loan of approximately $605,000 for Respond Now that provided the nonprofit with the capital needed to rehab the façade, replace the roof, and make structural repairs to the organization’s primary facility in Chicago Heights, IL. Serving more than 14,000 people annually from 22 communities in Chicago’s south suburbs, Respond Now provides health, hunger, and housing services that include a food pantry, SNAP outreach, supportive housing, homelessness prevention, housing counseling, and community health outreach. The nonprofit worked with IFF’s real estate team to complete a facility assessment and is embarking on a two-phase renovation to add space for its operations. The project will create three new jobs, while also helping the organization better meet the needs of its clients.

Rosemary’s Babies Co.

IFF closed a $900,000 bridge loan for Rosemary’s Babies Co. (501c3) that will enable the nonprofit to move forward with the acquisition and renovation of a 6,900-square-foot facility in Cincinnati’s North Avondale/Avondale neighborhood while the organization completes a $1.5 million capital campaign. The organization was founded by Rosemary D. Oglesby-Henry to provide in-person and virtual services to three generations: teen parents, their babies, and grandparents. Parents (ages 9-19) have access to emergency transportation, car seats, and cribs; technology access, training, and equipment to reduce the “digital divide”; assistance with job opportunities; and trauma-informed counseling.  

The organization’s new facility, which will be known as Holloway House & Resource Center, will include seven independent living spaces that will provide temporary housing for seven moms and their babies, two dining areas, a state-of-the-art STEM lab, and three shared office spaces for partners of the nonprofit. Project partners include RWB Construction, Moody Nolan Architects, Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Gardens, The Port of Greater Cincinnati, Greater Cincinnati Foundation, bi3, Interact for Health, and United Way of Greater Cincinnati. Roughly one-third (35%) of the teen parents served by Rosemary’s Babies Co. are experiencing homelessness or living in a dangerous situation. Holloway House & Resource Center will provide a safe haven of support for this at-risk, oftentimes ostracized population. The landmark project will be the first of its kind in the region. Click here to learn more. 

TCA Health

IFF closed a $294,500 loan that will enable TCA Health to purchase a 4,000-square-foot commercial building adjacent to the organization’s health center in Chicago’s Chatham neighborhood that will expand the Federally Qualified Health Center’s (FQHC) capacity to meet increased demand for its services. The move-in ready building includes nine exam rooms, four offices, three bathrooms, and a conference room and kitchenette, which will provide TCA with much-needed space to add clinicians to its staff after expanding its service offering in recent years. TCA’s location in Chatham, one of five sites it operates on Chicago’s South Side, is the only FQHC serving its community, and provides high-quality, primary health care services to more than 6,400 patients per year, regardless of their ability to pay. This is the fifth loan IFF has closed for TCA Health since 2017 to help support the organization’s growth, with the most recent in April 2022 providing TCA with the capital needed to open a satellite location that similarly expanded its capacity.

The Blind Social Center

IFF closed a $235,500 loan for The Blind Social Center (TBSC) that will enable the nonprofit to complete construction of a new, 3,970-square-foot facility in Gary, IN, meant to enrich and stimulate the lives of members of the blind and visually impaired community by providing an inclusive environment to participate in programming and socialize. TBSC was founded by Tony and Connie Blair in 2014 after Mr. Blair lost his sight due to an aggressive form of glaucoma.

The facility will include a commercial kitchen, four training rooms for educational workshops and social and independent learning, a dining hall for community and corporate events and programs that support the sustainability of the organization by generating additional revenue, three offices, and a conference room available for community use. A 20×50-foot raised garden bed will be used to grow vegetables to be prepared in the facility’s commercial kitchen and social media cooking program. On an adjacent property will be a two-unit duplex for intermediate housing for individuals who are blind who have been displaced from their permanent housing. The project is expected to create 10 construction jobs (five FTEs).

The Children’s Museum of Green Bay

IFF closed a loan of approximately $680,000 that provided The Children’s Museum of Green Bay (CMOGB) with the capital needed to cover the costs of a recent renovation to its facility in Green Bay, WI, after the pandemic delayed the launch of a capital campaign. CMOGB’s mission is to bring children and families together through play while serving the needs and interests of children by providing exhibits and programs that stimulate curiosity and motivate learning.

After its 7,200-square-foot facility was donated to the organization in 2019, the building was gutted before new mechanical systems, walls, ceilings, flooring, and finishes were installed. With the pandemic curbing the in-person attendance the museum relies on to sustain its operations and limiting its ability to conduct its capital campaign to pay for the renovations, the general contractor held CMOGB’s balance on its books as a service to the community when no local banks were willing to lend to the museum at the onset of the pandemic. Now that the museum’s operations have stabilized with the return of in-person activities, IFF’s loan will enable CMOGB to repay its general contractor and position the museum to proceed with a capital campaign that will enable its expansion onto an adjacent property.

Urban Male Network

In August 2022, IFF closed a $35,000 “flex loan” for Urban Male Network (UMN) to help accelerate the Chicago-based youth services nonprofit’s growth as the organization secured new grant funding and required working capital while waiting to be reimbursed by funders (learn more about that here). After receiving the loan, UMN had additional success securing grant funding from The City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, United Way of Metro Chicago, The Obama Foundation, McCormick Foundation, The Chicago Community Trust, and Nike. To help with UMN’s cash flow while waiting for the disbursement of grant funds, IFF closed a new, $50,000 flex loan for the organization that paid off the previous flex loan, thus increasing the amount of working capital available to UMN by $15,000.

Click here for past monthly loan round-ups