January 2023 Loan Round-up February 1, 2023

In January, IFF closed loans totaling approximately $11.8 million for eight community-driven projects in the Midwest. 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.

Lawndale Christian Legal Center

IFF closed a $6.5 million loan for Lawndale Christian Legal Center (LCLC) that is helping bridge capital grants awarded to the nonprofit for its $15.2 million renovation of a 32,769-square-foot building in the North Lawndale neighborhood on Chicago’s West Side. The facility will serve as a residential workforce development center for justice‐involved young people ages 18-24 in the community (featured in the architect’s rendering above). The building’s 20 housing units will feature private bedrooms, bathrooms and kitchenettes, and the facility will also include shared space for socializing and meetings, a commercial kitchen, dining area, a computer room and laundry room. LCLC is the only community-based legal practice in Chicago dedicated to the legal defense of juveniles and emerging adults, and the organization approaches its work holistically to help clients secure better outcomes in life through wraparound case management that includes legal, social, psychological, housing, and job training services.

Seven Hills Neighborhood Houses

IFF provided a loan of approximately $85,000 to Seven Hills Neighborhood Houses (SNNH) that enabled the nonprofit’s purchase of a historic building in Cincinnati, OH, that will be redeveloped as part of a broader plan for neighborhood revitalization. Located on a corner lot next to another parcel of land owned by SNNH, the 5,088-square-foot former church building has been vacant for many years. By acquiring the property, SNNH now has the site control necessary to move forward with plans for an art gallery, coffee shop, and community space. Founded in 1961, SNNH has long served the neighborhood as a resource for social services and by offering community gathering space.

Theatre Y

IFF closed a $665,000 loan for Theatre Y that enabled the performing arts nonprofit to acquire a 30,000-square-foot, multi-tenant facility in the North Lawndale neighborhood on Chicago’s West Side that will serve as the theatre company’s new headquarters after completing building upgrades. After leasing space on the city’s North Side, Theatre Y’s move to North Lawndale is an intentional effort to increase access to arts and culture resources and youth programming in the community – a priority identified by residents in the North Lawndale Community Coordinating Council’s quality-of-life plan. Theatre Y will center theater live/work space as part of its new campus, in partnership with community leaders, designers, urban planners, city officials, and local artists, with a goal to provide a new creative space for healing, community, and artistic expression.

In addition to operating its own programming in the facility, Theatre Y will lease space to existing tenants, which include painters, musicians, woodworkers, and other artists. Additional sources of funding for the acquisition of the property included agency equity, Neighborhood Opportunity Grant funding, and private grant funding.

Urban Neighborhood Initiatives

IFF closed a $192,000 loan for Urban Neighborhood Initiatives (UNI) that refinanced a balloon payment for a maturing loan and a reimbursable grant from another lender used by the nonprofit for the 2017 buildout of its 7,133-square-foot Lawndale Center in Detroit, MI. The Lawndale Center serves as the home of the Southwest Detroit Community Justice Center, a community court that handles misdemeanor cases for four ZIP codes through a restorative approach to justice designed to increase public trust in the justice system, assist in the reduction of crime, and improve the quality of life in the communities it serves. It also serves as home to LOS HQ, UNI’s youth hub for youth/young adults ages 14 to 24. LOS HQ was designed by youth living in the Springwells neighborhood and now serves as a space for youth to build leadership skills, explore their passions, and chase their dreams.

UNI also plans to relocate its social enterprise, Southwest Rides, to the Lawndale Center from a leased space this year. Refinancing will strengthen UNI’s financial position, advancing a multi-year financial plan developed by the organization as a result of its participation in IFF’s Stronger Nonprofits Initiative.

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