In July, IFF closed loans totaling approximately $4.8 million for five 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.
Detroit Public Theatre
IFF closed a $1 million loan for Detroit Public Theatre (DPT) that helped facilitate renovations to a 7,500-square-foot building in Midtown Detroit that the nonprofit is leasing to use as a performing arts space (featured in the architect’s rendering above). DPT was founded in 2015 with a goal to provide world-class professional theatre to diverse audiences. Renovations to the facility – which opened in September 2022 – included the installation of a stage, lighting, sound system, flexible seating, box office equipment, bar, and lobby seating.
Operating previously in a rehearsal space for the Detroit Symphony Orchestra with a capacity of 150 seats, DPT will be able to host audiences of up to 250 people in its new facility, which it has the option to purchase before the lease expires. In addition to the community benefits of increasing access to the arts, the facility will also support 10 new full-time jobs, effectively doubling DPT’s staff. While using the space for its own performances, DPT will also open the facility to other performance groups for rentals and residences, enabling emerging arts groups in the Detroit area to access quality performance space.
IFF closed a loan of approximately $775,000 that will enable LifeBUILDERS to complete gut rehabs of two single family homes and a two-unit duplex in the Greater Regent Park area of Detroit. When the renovations are complete, each unit will be move-in ready, with new HVAC, roofs, windows, kitchens, baths, garages, and more – with each of the units expected to be sold at “naturally” affordable prices to qualified low-income home buyers. LifeBUILDERS, which was founded in 2005 to shape a better future for residents on Detroit’s East Side, will provide the additional funding needed to complete the project – and includes subsidy by Community Development Block Grants once the four units pass inspections. In addition to increasing access to homeownership opportunities for residents in the community, the project will reclaim the blighted properties. IFF has provided financing to LifeBUILDERS several times in recent years, which the nonprofit used to create 17 units of affordable housing in the Regent Park community.
Unity Christian Academy
IFF closed a $2.5 million loan for Unity Christian Academy that will enable the private, nonprofit high school in South Holland, IL, to renovate a 41,563-square-foot facility it purchased last summer to serve as the permanent home of the school. Renovations will include asbestos abatement, roof repairs, replacement of heating and cooling mechanisms, electrical and plumbing work, and preparing 12 classrooms for 225 students in grades 9-12 – the majority of whom will qualify for free school lunches based on family income. Unity Christian Academy was established in 2016 following the closure of two long-time religious high schools in Chicago’s south suburbs. When these schools closed, parents, faith leaders, the business community, and community members began working to establish a new college and career prep high school – Unity Christian Academy – rooted in ecumenical and socio-economic unity. Currently serving 108 students, the school has a waitlist for all grades. The new facility will enable Unity Christian Academy to expand enrollment, increasing access to quality education in Chicago’s south suburbs.