XS Tennis and Education Foundation serves over 2,000 underprivileged students across Chicago neighborhoods, from Bronzeville to Woodlawn. Its new athletic and academic center will double the number of Chicago Public Schools as well as participants in the program, and create an estimated 50 jobs.
XSTEF, which trains more nationally recognized minority tennis players than any other organization in the U.S., has operated from a leased facility in Chicago’s Hyde Park for several years. Its Tennis Village Project will be built on 13 ½ acres of vacant land in the Washington Park neighborhood to be acquired from the Chicago Housing Authority. The development will include 12 indoor and 15 outdoor tennis courts, a 5,000-square-foot fitness center, classrooms, and training space.
Financing for the estimated $12.2 million project will come from a city of Chicago tax increment financing district; federal and state new markets tax credits equity from PNC Bank and U.S. Bank; and capital campaign proceeds. IFF also is providing up to $500,000 to bridge capital campaign pledge commitments, helping XSTEF meet its required $2.6 million cash contribution toward the project to maximize the amount of NMTC subsidy. XSTEF also launched a capital campaign in 2014 and already has exceeded its $1.9 million goal.
XSTEF evolved out of XS Tennis, which began in 2005 on the city’s south side with five minority tennis players. Four of them received full scholarships to college, and one, Taylor Townsend, is a professional tennis player who in 2012 became the Australian Open girls singles champion.
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