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LISC Gives U.S. Bank-Founded Chicago Neighborhood Initiatives Its Community Strategy of the Year Award

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Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) Chicago recognized Chicago Neighborhood Initiatives (CNI) today with its Community Strategy of the Year Award at the annual Chicago Neighborhood Development Awards for CNI’s work to revitalize the Pullman neighborhood.

Born just five years ago, Chicago Neighborhood Initiatives was formed with $9.2 million in direct financial support from U.S. Bank. Its creation and subsequent investments from CNI and the bank has generated 1,200 jobs, 135 affordable housing units and helped hundreds of entrepreneurs in neighborhoods throughout Chicago such as Pullman, Englewood and Austin. There alone, U.S. Bank has invested $35 million in community development loans, tax credit investments, grants, corporate giving and nonprofit sponsorships since late 2009.

“When U.S. Bank expanded in the Chicago market through the Park National acquisition, we made a strong commitment to community development and set out to build lasting relationships with these neighborhoods,” said Marsha Cruzan, market president for U.S. Bank in Chicago. “As this award affirms, CNI has certainly had the impact our bank envisioned five years ago. We congratulate the CNI team and look forward to working alongside them in the years ahead.”

U.S. Bank joined together with community stakeholders to lay the foundation for CNI in 2010 as an independent nonprofit developer and resource to support economic development and neighborhood revitalization initiatives in Chicago. One of its first projects was the redevelopment of the abandoned Ryerson factory site into the recently-completed Pullman Park mixed-use development.

“Our goal in creating Chicago Neighborhood Initiatives was not just to keep the Ryerson project moving forward, but to establish a sustainable organization that would have a lasting impact on these communities,” said Terrance Dolan, vice chairman of wealth management and securities services for U.S. Bank. “CNI President David Doig, Angie Marks and many others had a bold vision for the Pullman district. The entire team that helped form CNI and the community leaders were very passionate about the vision and the opportunities for the communities that we serve. As a result, U.S. Bank wanted to enable that community potential to be achieved.”

Mr. Dolan helped present the award with a video tribute shown at the Chicago Neighborhood Development Awards.

Over the past five years, U.S. Bank has remained closely involved with CNI through board leadership, financial expertise and funding. The bank’s funding has supported dozens of other projects and organizations in neighborhoods throughout Chicago, including Mercy Housing Lakefront – Pullman Wheelworks, Roseland Community Hospital, Teamwork Englewood, Westside Health Authority and many others.

“We’re thrilled to receive this recognition and proud to look back at our progress over the last five years. U.S. Bank’s support at all levels has been critical to CNI’s success,” Doig said.

LISC cited several high-profile initiatives in awarding CNI its “Community Strategy of the Year” award, including:

  • Development and job creation: This year CNI celebrated the completion of the first phase of Pullman Park, which includes a Walmart, Ross Dress for Less and Planet Fitness on the abandoned Ryerson factory site, brining 1,100 permanent and construction jobs and fresh produce to a previously-designated “food desert.” Other notable projects this year include the grand opening of a Method Home Products manufacturing facility in Pullman, creating 100 permanent jobs, and finalizing the complex remediation for a long-abandoned Englewood site that will be the future of a mixed-use development anchored by Whole Foods Market.
  • Revitalizing housing: This year CNI finished the sale of our first 38 rehabbed homes with partners Neighborhood Housing Services and the City of Chicago. On the strength of what had already been accomplished, in August Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan was on hand to announce a $1.5 million grant for CNI to acquire and rehab 20 single family homes and 15 rental apartment buildings.
  • Encouraging entrepreneurship: This year CNI launched a small business micro-lending program, Chicago Neighborhood Initiatives Micro Finance Group. The program focuses on low to moderate income neighborhoods throughout Chicago and the surrounding suburbs which in only two years provided more than 40 businesses with $500,000 in microloans. Of that total 82 percent of the loans went to firms owned by African-Americans and 52 percent went to small businesses owned by women.

“The Chicago Neighborhood Development Awards celebrate what truly makes our city great – the passion, creativity and diversity of our community development leaders,” said LISC Chicago Executive Director Susana Vasquez. “Chicago Neighborhood Initiatives’ work in Pullman exemplifies what true neighborhood development is about: community engagement that leads to community and economic impact.”

About LISC Chicago and CNDA
LISC Chicago is part of a nationwide non-profit corporation, the Local Initiatives Support Corporation, headquartered in New York. LISC operates in over 30 cities and a like number of rural communities throughout the United States. Founded in 1979 by the Ford Foundation, LISC helps both community-based and for-profit development organizations transform distressed neighborhoods into healthy ones – where people choose to live, do business, work and raise families.

Established in 1995, the Chicago Neighborhood Development Awards (CNDA) recognize the essential role that both non-profit and for-profit developers play in building communities in Chicago-area neighborhoods. The awards recognize outstanding achievement in neighborhood real estate development and community building, especially the achievements of community development corporations (CDCs), other community-based organizations and for-profit developers working to build healthier neighborhoods in the Chicago metropolitan area.

About U.S. Bank
U.S. Bank employs nearly 2,500 people in Chicago. U.S. Bancorp (NYSE:USB) , with $403 billion in assets as of December 31, 2014, is the parent company of U.S. Bank National Association, the 5th largest commercial bank in the United States. The company operates 3,176 banking offices in 25 states and 5,022 ATMs and provides a comprehensive line of banking, brokerage, insurance, investment, mortgage, trust and payment services products to consumers, businesses and institutions. Visit U.S. Bancorp on the web at www.usbank.com.

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