Success Stories

Ready for your own success story? Email or call us at 866 629 0060.

Asian Human Services/Passages

Asian Human Services helps Asians in Chicago's Uptown neighborhood make the transition to American life.

In 2014, we loaned $650,000 for the organization to acquire a health clinic in Skokie. In 2007, we provided real estate consulting and a $750,000 bridge loan to buy a larger location for a clinic that more than doubled patient visits annually. In 2002, the organization secured a $450,000 IFF loan and a bank loan to buy and renovate the building for its school, Passages.

Today, Asian Human Services offers services ranging from job training to mental health in 28 languages, and Passages ranks as the city’s top elementary charter school in recent state tests.

Black Ensemble Theater

In 2006, Black Ensemble Theater bought a 50,000-square-foot building in Chicago's Uptown neighborhood with the goal of creating a world-class theater venue. IFF was hired as project manager for the total gut of an existing two-story structure and demolition of an adjacent one-story building to make way for a new 2 ½ story main theater.

We performed value engineering to reduce costs without compromising quality or functionality. The Black Ensemble Theater Cultural Center opened in November 2011 with a 299-seat main stage, a 150-seat studio theater, rehearsal studios, classrooms, and music rooms.

Children's Home + Aid

IFF's history with Children's Home + Aid spans 20 years and includes playing a critical role in creating an Illinois grant program — meant to increase early childhood services in priority areas—that has benefited the agency.

We have been project manager for multiple sites, including the Mitzi Freidheim Englewood Child + Family Center, which came about through a partnership between IFF and the city of Chicago to increase child care capacity in high-need areas. For the Marletta Darnell Schaumburg Child + Family Center, we served as project manager and made a $1 million bridge loan when state funds were suspended.

In 2014, we managed the project for Children’s Home + Aid's new home in Carpentersville and helped the agency obtain a $5 million state grant. The Carpentersville site will create 25 jobs and expand the number of children served by 130 percent.

City Garden Montessori School

St. Louis' City Garden Montessori School hired IFF in 2010 to first evaluate whether a historic industrial building—part of the Botanical Heights redevelopment—would meet its needs for more space. We helped structure a $5 million New Markets tax credit transaction to pay for the rehab.

The transaction included a $500,000 IFF loan, a NMTC allocation from the St. Louis Development Corporation, a loan from Peoples Bank, an investment from US Bank Community Development Corporation, and federal and state historic preservation tax credits. We also helped the elementary charter school hire a project manager.

In August 2010, City Garden Montessori School welcomed 130 students in its new home, with plans to expand to 250.

Community Housing of Wyandotte County

In 2012, Community Housing of Wyandotte County in Kansas City, Kansas, received over $1 million in financing from IFF to improve its liquidity and invest in affordable housing, including the construction of four homes and the renovation of an existing one.

The loans have helped the community developer promote home buyer education, revitalize low-income neighborhoods, and save $62,000 in annual debt service.

Countryside Senior Apartments

In 2007, seniors formed 20 percent of the population in Countryside, IL, with nearly one out of every five senior households earning less than $15,000 a year. The closest affordable housing for low-income seniors had a three- to four-year waiting list.

Community Memorial Foundation teamed up with Lyons Township and IFF to find a way to let seniors stay in the community. We negotiated the land donation from Lyons Township, put together the financing, made a $1.3 million loan, and obtained $8 million in federal tax credits and $3.45 million from county HOME funds. The foundation provided a $600,000 grant. We also served as project manager for the $16 million complex, which opened in October 2010 with 70 units.

C Fresh Market

The U.S. Department of Agriculture labeled River Bend — one of the most ethnically diverse communities in Des Moines, Iowa — a food desert because residents lacked access to fresh, healthy, and affordable food. There had not been a grocery store there since 2004 when one closed because its prices were too high for the area’s residents.

In 2013, IFF provided a $712,000 loan to buy and renovate the former grocery store building. C Fresh Market opened as the only full-service grocery store in the low-income neighborhood. The store employs 25 people and stocks its shelves with affordable ethnic and international goods for its 16,000 diverse shoppers.

Erie Family Health Center

Chicago's Erie Family Health Center's relationship with IFF began in the early 1990s because of a program in which we developed, financed, and owned child care centers and community facilities in high-need areas before transferring ownership to nonprofits. Since then Erie has relied on our below-market loan rates and real estate consulting multiple times.

We served as project manager and loaned $600,000 to help Erie acquire and renovate its West Town Health Center. We completed a facility assessment of Erie’s Humboldt Park building to determine the nature and cost of renovations needed. For an addition to the Humboldt Park site, Erie sought our help in 2012. As a financial partner, we have made nearly $1.6 million in loans for renovation and acquisition projects, including the development of a dental center, and helped Erie increase patient visits to 15,600.

Globe Apartments

In 2013, Globe Apartments in Watertown, WI, received a $1.2 million loan from IFF to build a multifamily affordable housing rental development. IFF also sponsored a successful application for a $345,000 affordable housing program grant from the Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago for the project.

People with disabilities received a resource with Globe Apartments' September 2014 grand opening. The development consists of 48 two- and three-bedroom apartments, with 12 units set aside for people with disabilities who will receive long-term supportive services through a partnership between Care Wisconsin First, Inc., and Movin' Out.

Inspiration Corporation

In 1999 — after a decade of being a kitchen on wheels — Inspiration Café moved into a permanent home in Chicago's Uptown neighborhood with a $139,000 IFF loan. In 2010, to build a $2.4 million restaurant, catering, and training facility in Chicago’s East Garfield Park neighborhood, we financed a $520,000 loan and served as project manager.

The restaurant annually feeds 3,500 low-income families and trains 100 people for jobs. Inspiration Corporation's Inspiration Kitchens food service training program has helped over 500 homeless and low-income people. Inspiration Corporation has 54 full-time and 32 part-time employees at five different sites, and serves over 3,000 Chicago residents each year.

Karcher Artspace Lofts

As part of a downtown revitalization effort in Waukegan, IL, Artspace Projects Inc. bought the Karcher Hotel in 2007 for $730,000 and saved the historic building from demolition. The once majestic hotel had stood vacant and in disrepair for 21 years. Artspace and the city of Waukegan packaged financing for the $13 million project from sources such as JPMorgan Chase, historic and low income housing tax credits, state funding, and local fundraising by the Waukegan Arts Council.

But the project still needed a long-term permanent lender. In October 2011, IFF loaned $700,000 to Artspace, one of the nation's leading developers of affordable space for artists. Karcher Artspace Lofts opened in December 2012; all 36 lofts were leased by March 2013. Most of the lofts are reserved for low-income artists and their families.

Lakeview Pantry

Chicago's Lakeview Pantry's new 7,500-square-foot home is being made possible with help from a $1.5 million IFF loan to buy and renovate the building, including accessibility and code improvements. This marks the second time Lakeview Pantry has hired us to identify and plan for a larger location.

For the past 12 years, the food pantry program has operated out of a 3,500-square-foot space. Before that, Lakeview Pantry was in a 970-square-foot boiler room in the former Jane Adams Center. The nonprofit annually distributes almost 1 ½ million pounds of food and serves 4,850 adults, 2,842 youth, and 852 seniors in the Lakeview neighborhood.

LEARN Hunter Perkins Campus

In September 2011, LEARN Charter School Network celebrated the grand opening of its fifth location, the Hunter Perkins Campus in Chicago's Auburn Gresham neighborhood. To help finance the project, IFF provided LEARN with a $1 million energy efficiency loan.

LEARN made significant renovations to a vacant parochial school building, including several "green" features such as an insulated roof, double-pane windows, and energy-efficient lighting. The Network saves about $6,000 a year on utility bills through energy efficiency upgrades.

School District of New Berlin

The School District of New Berlin in southeastern Wisconsin hired IFF to complete a strategic facilities plan for its seven schools in 2011. We identified renovation priorities, recommended improvements for each building, and provided a consolidation strategy.

Based on our findings, the district closed a school, saving over $3.5 million in needed renovations and up to $500,000 in annual maintenance costs. The district requested our help again in 2012 to update the plan, including creating five-year budget plans for each facility and suggesting energy-efficient upgrades.

Youth Outreach Services

When renovations at Youth Outreach Services’ Austin location came to a standstill in 2011, the Chicago agency was considering buying or leasing space — and leaving its home of 25 years.

By taking over as project manager and providing a $596,000 loan, IFF helped Youth Outreach Services keep its home. Youth Outreach Services reopened in February 2014 for the crucial business of caring for the area’s most vulnerable teens.

In 2004, we also made a $395,000 loan to Youth Outreach Services for a new facility in Melrose Park, allowing the agency to consolidate two existing offices and reduce overhead costs by $26,400 annually.

Walker's Point

To strengthen the education, health care, and arts and culture landscape in Milwaukee, IFF financed over $7 million in loans to six nonprofits in Walker's Point, one of the nation’s oldest neighborhoods.

Two borrowers, La Causa and Seeds of Health, offer education opportunities for high-need students. Our loan to Core El Centro for leasehold improvements and equipment allows the holistic health center to serve 1,000 more patients annually. We also financed Walker's Point Center for the Arts' first home. Other projects to receive IFF assistance include Next Act Theatre and RadioMilwaukee.