HJ Sims Arranges USDA Financing for $32M Expansion Project at Evenglow Lodge in Pontiac, Illinois

PONTIAC, Ill. — HJ Sims has arranged financing for a $32 million expansion project at Evenglow Lodge, a continuing care retirement community in downtown Pontiac, approximately 95 miles southwest of Chicago.

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is providing the majority of the funds. In accordance with USDA’s requirements, proceeds of the financing will be used for the construction of 76 replacement assisted living units, common space and other space used by the health center, as well as for the demolition of the existing assisted living structure.

Opened in 1957, Evenglow has evolved into a senior living community delivering care from independent living through skilled nursing. In order to meet community needs for additional services, Evenglow sought to expand its footprint.

The first phase consists of the construction of the replacement assisted living units, demolition of the current assisted living tower and construction of new common space. Phase II consists of the construction of 24 new independent living units. Construction of Phase I began in 2021, while construction of Phase II is scheduled to begin in 2023.

Due to USDA’s prohibition on using debt for independent living, Sims crafted a plan of finance that included USDA financing for the new assisted living building paired with bank financing for the new independent living units. The latter would use two distinct tranches, one entrance-fee tranche and one long-term tranche, which would allow Evenglow to lessen its long-term debt liability. Furthermore, with low interest rates and long amortization available via the USDA financing, Sims worked with the USDA to include as much as was allowable into the USDA loan.

A draw-down bank loan will permit Evenglow to draw for construction costs on an as-needed basis. Ultimately, the bank loan will be refinanced with a USDA vehicle which was locked in at an interest rate of 2.25 percent and a term of 35 years.