Rendering by JGMA, courtesy of CircEsteem

September 2023 Loan Round-up October 1, 2023

In September, IFF closed loans totaling approximately $14.6 million for seven community-driven projects in the Midwest. We’ve included information below about two 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.


IFF closed a $3 million loan that provided CircEsteem with bridge financing for the renovation of the nonprofit’s new headquarters in Chicago, IL (featured in the architect’s rendering above), while awaiting a $5 million TIF grant awarded to the organization by the City of Chicago. CircEsteem was founded in 2001 to help youth build self-esteem, leadership skills, and an appreciation for teamwork through circus arts. The organization purchased the 16,455-square-foot facility in 2022–a former movie theater operated most recently as a youth center–and is completing renovations that will facilitate an expansion of CircEsteem’s programs. Additional funding for the $10.2 million project includes agency equity via a major gift from an individual donor and a capital campaign that’s currently underway. IFF’s Real Estate Solutions team completed a feasibility study to assess CircEsteem’s facility needs, provided predevelopment support, and is serving as the owner’s representative for the renovation project.

West Michigan Community Tennis

IFF closed a $1.58 million loan that provided West Michigan Community Tennis, Inc. (WMCT) with the capital needed to acquire a 55,000-square-foot gym and athletic complex in Grandville, MI, that was slated for redevelopment to preserve community access to the facility. Founded in 2016, WMCT is a nonprofit committed to growing the game of tennis by offering free and low-cost tennis and educational instruction to young people and adults living in under-resourced communities in the Grand Rapids area. They also offer youth and adult wheelchair and parastanding tennis, and have an adaptive partnership with the Special Olympics of Michigan. The facility the organization is acquiring includes six indoor tennis courts and four outdoor clay courts, a fitness/training area, locker rooms, lounge, swimming pool, and basketball court, and is currently operated as a for-profit business. By acquiring the facility, WMCT will secure a new source of revenue via gym memberships that will subsidize the cost of its own programming, enabling the nonprofit to offer free and low-cost tennis programs to young people in additional communities in the region. Beyond IFF’s loan, the acquisition was funded with agency equity via a capital campaign, as well as support from private foundations.

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