FROM LAKEVIEW PANTRY CAPITAL CAMPAIGN LEADERSHIP: OUR PROGRESS ON OUR MOVE TO 3945 N. SHERIDAN:
I hope that everyone is having a great summer. We have made a lot of progress on our plan to buy (and raise funds to buy) a building for the Pantry. Here’s an update:
We signed a purchase agreement for 3945 N. Sheridan on June 13, 2014. That was the culmination of many months of work by staff and our real estate committee. We are very excited about the property! It will provide us with 7,500 square feet of space – nearly double the size of our Broadway location. The additional space will allow our entire staff to work under the same roof. We will also have space to expand our Case Management staff so that we can expand the services we provide to our current clients. This includes referrals to healthcare and housing, and seminars that help our clients find new employment – helping those we serve increase their independence and self-sustainability.
We have been issued a commitment letter from IFF for a loan. IFF is a nonprofit lender and real estate consultant dedicated to strengthening nonprofits and the communities they serve. While we ultimately hope to be able to pay down the mortgage by IFF in its entirety over the next several years through the capital campaign, obtaining financing allows us to move ahead with the project now, and also gives us the flexibility to pay for the project over a longer period of time. Even with the full mortgage, however, we don’t expect that the move will significantly increase the amount of money we currently spend on our rent.
We have been doing the work to complete the purchase. Working with Alderman Cappelman’s office, we obtained a special use permit to operate the new site from the Zoning Board of Appeals. We are working with an environmental group to assess whether there are issues that need further investigation, and we are generally completing the due diligence project. If all goes well, we expect to be able to close on the new property by the end of 2014.
If and when the deal closes, we will then retain the services of an architectural design firm and construction company to rehab the building to suit our needs.
The capital campaign itself continues to go very well. To date, we have received $1,853,000 in committed funds, with the reasonable expectation that we will secure an additional $700,000 in funding before the year’s end – leaving just $400,000 to raise from individuals and foundations we have already identified as prospective funders.
Thanks to everyone for their continued support of the Pantry — we could not be doing this without you!