Category: Uncategorized

Husband and Wife Team Builds Community Gems

Jason and Esther Williams have been rehabbing properties since 2006. While he initially started working on properties part-time, in 2009 Jason started rehabbing full time and formed Ultimate Real Estate group shortly thereafter.  The goal of Ultimate Real Estate is to pursue the acquisition, development and rehab of small residential properties.   Jason is also a… Read more »

Housing Cooperative Combats Gentrification in Wicker Park

Wicker Park is known for its nightlife, food scene, boutique clothing stores, beer gardens and limited available affordable housing.  Zillow currently list a 2 bedroom apartment in Wicker Park for $2,985 a month.  Among the droves of hipsters and incoming crowds sits Woolman-Washington Cooperative Apartments where rent is based on your family income and residents… Read more »

Dill Pickle Food Cooperative Breaks Ground on its Expansion

On April 17th, Dill Pickle Food Co-Op members and community members celebrated the groundbreaking of their new location. Off the blue line in Logan Square, the new location will expand Dill Pickle’s retail space from 1,100 square feet to 6,500 square feet.  The long awaited location will be able to offer a greater array of… Read more »

MacArthur Foundation: Uncle Remus Finds its Secret Sauce on the South Side

At the busy intersection of 47th Street and Cottage Grove Avenue sits the newest location of Uncle Remus Saucy Fried Chicken, a restaurant that serves up crispy fried chicken with a special secret sauce that its owner is betting will help create a new chicken empire in the Chicago area. Uncle Remus is a West Side institution. The new… Read more »

CCLF’s New Market Tax Credits Advance Affordable Housing, Health Services and Youth Development

In the summer of 2015, the Chicago Community Loan Fund received its first New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) Allocation from the Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) Fund.  CCLF was awarded a $15 million allocation which it deployed in three diverse, transformative and exciting projects in three different Chicago neighborhoods.  CCLF provided $5 million of NMTC… Read more »

CCLF Customer Creates Affordable Housing in Chatham

Don Duszynski and Sean Connolly are founders of Strata Investments, a real estate development company that rehabilitates vacant properties and creates affordable housing for families in Chicago Housing Authority’s Housing Choice Voucher Program.  The company also offers properties to first time homeowners and renters.  Their mission is to provide excellent affordable housing options in thriving,… Read more »

CCLF Borrower, DL3 Wins CNDA Award for Englewood Square Project

The Outstanding For-Profit Neighborhood Real Estate Project Award went to DL3 Realty for Englewood Square center at 63rd and Halsted that includes a Whole Foods Market, Starbucks and Chipotle among other retailers.  Click Image to see video.

25 Years Later: An Interview with a CCLF founder Board Member Sara Jo Light

25 years ago, a group of investors gathered to talk about a problem in Chicagoland that had long been overlooked in the banking world: underserved communities. This group decided that a community fund focused on investing in grassroots organizations and leaders who were addressing the direct needs of individuals, families, and communities based on locally… Read more »

Whole Foods Market Celebrates Grand Opening in Englewood Square

Traffic was unusually heavy along 63rd Street in Englewood the morning of September 28, 2016.  Students were trying to get to school and residents were trying to get to work, but a large number of the community was going to the grand opening of the Whole Foods Market on 63rd Street and Halsted. The light… Read more »

CCLF Completes First New Market Tax Credit Allocation with Trianon Lofts

In late July, an excited crowd gathered in Woodlawn to celebrate the groundbreaking of Trianon Lofts. The project will include 24 two-bedroom apartments and provide 7,000 square feet of commercial space. Over half of the apartments will be reserved for families earning 80-120% of the area median income, the others will be market rate, and… Read more »

Arts and Recreation Center at Ellis Park Opens in Bronzeville

On July 9th, the Bronzeville community gathered with Chicagoans from all over to celebrate the grand opening of The Arts and Recreation Center at Ellis Park. The new state of the art center includes a gym with a shock absorbing floor, a handicap accessible pool, a fitness center, a community room and a rooftop terrace… Read more »

Preservation of Historic Mark Twain Hotel and Affordable Housing

The intersection of Clark and Division and surrounding blocks are packed with construction crews hard at work. The Near North Side neighborhood is just blocks away from downtown and is expanding rapidly with luxury apartments. In the midst of all this change stands the historic Mark Twain Hotel. Built over 80 years ago, the hotel… Read more »

CCLF Annual Stakeholders Meeting Looks to the Future

On June 9th, CCLF welcomed funders, investors, and community partners to its Annual Stakeholders Meeting held at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. The meeting reviewed CCLF’s portfolio performance in 2015 and first quarter 2016; informed partners about the direction of the upcoming strategic plan; highlighted notable borrowers; and offered investors and partners the opportunity… Read more »

Former CCLF Borrower Brings Green Energy Innovations to South Side Housing

CCLF staff visit Greenline Development, Inc.’s new net zero energy home in Woodlawn for a mid-construction tour Almost 20 years ago, Benjamin Van Horne started Greenline Development, Inc. While some Chicagoans may hear the company’s name and immediately think of the ‘L’ train, the name actually responds to redlining, the practice of denying services and… Read more »

Sugar Beet Food Co-op Brings Healthy Food and Innovative Business

Founder of Sugar Beet Cheryl Muñoz, Senator Don Harmen, Mayor of Oak Park Anan Abu-Taleb, CCLF’s COO and VP of Programs Robert Tucker and Cook County Commissioner Richard Boykin at the ribbon cutting for Sugar Beet on August 14th Sugar Beet Food Co-op opened its doors this summer, making it one of the first food… Read more »

Stony Island Arts Bank Opens as part of Chicago’s Architectural Biennial

Randy Crompton, Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Alderman Leslie Hairston, CCLF President Calvin L. Holmes, Frederick Dunston and Director of Lending Operations at CCLF Wendell Harris celebrate the opening of the Stony Island Arts Bank For the past 30 years, a nearly century-old bank in Chicago’s South Shore community has been abandoned and vacant. The 19,065 square… Read more »

Betty Shabazz Celebrates Accessibility Renovations

Betty Shabazz International Charter School principal Sundiata Mason, 8th Ward Alderman Michelle Harris, CCLF’s Director of Portfolio Management Lycrecia Parks and Great Lakes ADA Center’s Technical Assistance Specialist Ancel Montenelli Betty Shabazz International Charter School (BSICS) opened its doors in November to celebrate its compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) with a ribbon… Read more »