An architect's rendering of the Forty Acres Fresh Market.

November 2023 Loan Round-up December 1, 2023

In November, IFF closed loans totaling approximately $26.7 million for 12 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.

Bethel New Life

IFF closed a $345,000 loan that provided Bethel New Life, Inc. (Bethel) with predevelopment financing for the first phase of construction for a holistic health and wellness hub in Chicago’s Austin neighborhood. The facility, which will be known as the Mildred Wiley Wellness Hub, will include a horticenter and sunroom with a community garden, educational center, and gathering space for residents of the city’s West Side. Adding to the project’s positive impact will be a new, 10,000-square-foot health center operated by a partner that will offer physical and behavioral health services. The project will increase access to nutritious food in the community, while making it easier for local residents to access services. Founded in 1981, Bethel deploys a network of wellness partnership programs and initiatives that prepare members of the community to be healthy and well through all stages of life by creating livable-wage jobs and building affordable housing for families in the community. Additional sources of funding and financing for the organization’s $5.05 million wellness hub include public grants and contributions from Austin Fresh and individual donors.

Full Circle Communities

IFF closed a $1.5 million loan that provided Full Circle Communities with predevelopment financing for The Grace Terrace, a 25-unit permanent supportive housing development in Arlington Heights, IL. The apartments will provide high-quality housing to people with disabilities, youth aging out of Department of Children and Family Services-funded care, and veterans in an amenity-rich and transit-accessible community. Additional sources of funding and financing for the $12.3 million project include Illinois Housing Development Agency Permanent Supportive Housing funds, Cook County HOME funds, a ComEd grant, a Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity grant, and Affordable Housing Program funds via the Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago, among others.

Full Circle Communities’ mission is to expand access to quality affordable housing through preservation and development, thoughtful design, and the provision of significant and targeted supportive services to residents and the surrounding communities. IFF has previously provided seven loans to Full Circle Communities for affordable housing projects.

Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Lake Superior Chippewa

IFF closed three loans totaling more than $13.3 million as part of a New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) deal to fund the construction of a state-of-the-art, 64,464-square-foot tribal health care center located on the Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians (LCO) tribal reservation in Hayward, WI. The project will replace, consolidate, and enhance two aging locations and establish a new clinic that will offer comprehensive care in areas of greatest health concern to the tribal community; it will bring together medical, dental, pharmacy, behavioral health, community health, recovery, chiropractic, lab, imaging, and administrative services under one roof for the first time.

The project has a $46.2 million budget, of which $44 million is a NMTC allocation. Two investment funds will bring together the total NMTC allocation via US Bank and Equitable Health Fund (LISC), which will consist of Qualified Equity Investments (QEIs) from Forward Community Investments, Impact Seven, IFF, LISC, and US Bank. Sources of leverage funding include permanent funding from Native American Bank (NAB) and Bay Bank, including participation from IFF and two Native American lenders, and other contributions come from the Tribe equity and multiple targeted contributions for this project, including ARPA funds.

Currently there are 7,275 LCO tribal members and limited available health care resources forces them to travel long distances to secure care and treatment. The new clinic is projected to almost double capacity to 38,000 annual patient visits. Later stages of project development will introduce a wellness center and senior facilities to meet the needs of more unmet demand in the community. The project will retain and create 121 full-time jobs, and create 42 new full-time equivalent construction jobs.

MAAFA Redemption Project

IFF closed a $632,000 bridge loan that provided MAAFA Redemption Project with the capital needed to cover predevelopment costs for the MAAFA Center for Arts & Activism (“MAC”) and to refinance a previous loan from another lender. Founded in 2017, MAAFA Redemption Project’s work is centered around improving the quality of life for young men and women of color and their families on Chicago’s West Side. Operating since its launch in a former church, MAAFA is now embarking on a $6.1 million renovation of the facility that will create the MAC. Once complete, the nonprofit will have a high-quality venue to offer intergenerational arts programming coupled with grassroots activism training and facilitation – both of which were identified by community members as priorities in the West Garfield Park neighborhood – in addition to high-quality space for the organization’s existing programming.

The project, which is being supported by IFF’s Real Estate Solutions team, is part of a larger initiative to develop the Sankofa Wellness Village, a series of interconnected capital projects and social enterprises designed to  bring health care, wellness, before-and after-school care, and quality jobs to West Garfield Park. Additional sources of funding and financing for the creation of the MAC include the City of Chicago, Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, and resources from the Pritzker-Traubert Foundation’s “Chicago Prize.”

The Model Group

IFF closed a $500,000 loan that provided The Model Group (TMG) with financing to continue the redevelopment of a historically significant neighborhood in Fort Wayne, IN. IFF previously provided a $3.5 million source loan to The Model Group in October 2021 as part of a New Markets Tax Credit deal that preserved three historic buildings and facilitated new infill construction on two empty lots as part of a broader $80 million master redevelopment strategy for The Landing District. The recent loan will help TMG build on that work by renovating a restaurant space that will serve as the home of a new anchor tenant. Being completed in partnership with the Downtown Development Trust, the revitalization effort in the neighborhood is creating new jobs, affordable housing, and more.


IFF closed a $175,000 bridge loan to finance the acquisition and predevelopment of a 13,100-square-foot facility that will be repurposed into “The K,” an entrepreneurship development hub that provides business incubation and other supports to aspiring business owners. The project is being co-developed TRUdelta and Project Forward. The K is intended to bring more businesses and entrepreneur-focused programing to enhance the Greater West Side community.

The property, located in Chicago’s West Garfield Park neighborhood, is part of a larger initiative to develop the Sankofa Wellness Village, a series of interconnected capital projects and social enterprises designed to bring health care, wellness, before-and after-school care, and quality jobs to the neighborhood. The project has been awarded several grants, including two via the City of Chicago’s Equitable Transit-Oriented Development (ETOD) initiative, the Community Wealth Building initiative and one from the Chicago Community Trust.

Unity Christian Academy

IFF closed a $750,000 bridge loan that provided Unity Christian Academy (UCA) with the capital needed to complete renovations to the private, nonprofit high school’s facility in South Holland, IL. UCA, a college and career prep school, acquired the former Holy Ghost Catholic Parish, a 41,563-square-foot facility, in July 2021. IFF previously approved financing in July 2022 for initial renovations needed for the building, but higher-than-expected construction costs halted progress. The additional financing will aid in completing phase one of the renovations, which includes roof repairs, replacement of heating/cooling mechanisms, electrical and plumbing updates, and the preparation of 12 classrooms for use in 2024. Currently, UCA has 104 students and a waitlist; the expanded classroom capacity will create 143 student seats and four professional jobs.

Westside Health Authority

IFF closed a $7.5 million loan to finance Westside Health Authority (WHA)’s redevelopment of an 11,491-square-foot facility as a full-service grocery store in Chicago’s Austin neighborhood (featured in the architect’s rendering above). The loan will bridge a $5 million capital grant from the State of Illinois, administered through the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) and $2.5 million from the Chicago Recovery Grant (CRG) – and also is part of a $13.4 million New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) transaction. WHA was founded in 1988 to improve the health and well-being of the Austin community and the greater West Side of Chicago. WHA offers four areas of programming to support its mission, including youth development, community re-entry, economic development and employment services.

WHA is partnering with Forty Acres Fresh Market (FAFM), an affordable, full-service grocery operator. Currently, FAFM is conducting weekly in-person grocery markets and grocery deliveries in the Austin neighborhood; once the facility is redeveloped, it will bring a permanent option for residents to access fresh groceries in the neighborhood.

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