In January, IFF closed loans totaling approximately $5.75 million for eight community-driven projects in the Midwest. We’ve included information below about several of the loans and what the nonprofits that received them are doing with the capital. To learn more about IFF’s lending, visit our Capital Solutions page.
Asian Improv aRts Midwest
IFF closed a $290,000 loan that will enable Asian Improv aRts Midwest (AIRMW) to acquire a 4,900-square-foot facility in Chicago, IL, that the organization will use as its headquarters. AIRMW’s mission is to build a vital, self-empowered Asian American Community in the Chicago area by advancing the understanding and profile of Asian American cultures through the traditional and contemporary cultural arts. The organization worked with IFF’s real estate team to identify a suitable facility to purchase after the leased space where the organization was housed previously was sold by its landlord. Owning its facility will enable AIRMW to continue offering its programming and provide the organization with more control over its operations while building its net asset position. Additional funding for the acquisition was provided through a Chicago’s Cultural Treasures grant and a capital campaign.
IFF closed a $210,000 loan for Bella Ease that helped finance the acquisition of two adjoining commercial buildings in Quincy, IL, that will serve as the nonprofit’s headquarters. Bella Ease helps create lasting change among families by empowering students and parents with the skills they need to succeed at home, at school, and at work – serving more than 500 families each year. The purchase of the facilities will enable Bella Ease to expand its programming and partner relationships by providing the organization with additional space, while also improving the client experience and helping facilitate service referrals by consolidating its operations from two distinct facilities (one leased & one owned) to one centralized location that it owns. Additional financing for the project was provided by State Street Bank.
J. Jireh Development Corporation
IFF closed a loan of $86,186 for J. Jireh Development Corporation (JJDC) that will facilitate the organization’s purchase of a facility in Columbus, OH, as well as renovations to convert the duplex building into six bedrooms that can be rented affordably by members of the community. JJDC provides housing for young people in need of a stable living situation, veterans, and citizens returning from incarceration. The project will create a new revenue stream for the organization, increase the value of nearby properties, and provide a training venue for individuals in JJDC’s construction trades workforce development program. Beyond housing, JJDC offers mentoring to residents that is designed to provide structure and accountability, among other supportive services.
Kankakee County Housing Development Corporation
IFF closed a $660,000 predevelopment loan that will facilitate the creation of 40 affordable rental homes for families in Kankakee, IL, by the Kankakee County Housing Development Corporation. The development, which will replace outdated public housing currently located on the site, will consist of 40 two- and three-bedroom homes built using a pre-fabricated framing system. The homes will feature energy star rated appliances and an attached garage. A variety of amenities are located nearby, including the Kankakee River, multiple parks, banks, grocery stores, a pharmacy, two major hospitals, and more. Additional funding and financing for the $12.7 million LIHTC project is being provided by Bank of America and the Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago.
New Lima Homes
IFF closed a $1,499,999 loan for MVAH that refinanced a maturing first mortgage on 57 LIHTC single-family affordable rental homes in Lima, OH – resulting in cost savings of nearly $60,000 annually on debt service. The development includes 20 homes affordable to families earning 50% of the area median income (AMI) and 37 homes affordable to families at 60% AMI – with several four-bedroom homes for larger families not typically available in affordable housing developments. All of the homes feature modern, open floors plans with a living/dining area, full-size kitchen, spacious bedrooms, and in-unit laundry. Original financing for the project was provided by Huntington Bank.
Star Farm Chicago
IFF closed a $243,000 loan for Star Farm Chicago (Star Farm) that will enable the organization to make tenant improvements for a retail grocery store, community dining room, and shared kitchen in Chicago’s Back of the Yards neighborhood, which qualifies as a food desert. Star Farm is a nonprofit urban farm and landscaping service that works to increase access to local organic produce through farmer’s markets, pop-ups, produce delivery, and a local food co-op – providing food and programming to 15,000 people annually.
Its new facility will help the organization expand and diversify its programming, increasing food security in the communities it serves and creating opportunities for community building around nutritious and culturally relevant food. Additionally, the facility will help local food entrepreneurs build capacity by offering rented kitchen space, which will also serve as a classroom for community workshops focused on nutrition, food safety, and healthy cooking. The project will create four new FTE jobs and 25 temporary construction jobs, all of which will be bid out to residents in the communities served by Star Farm.