Grantee Profile

Jorge Torres is the landlord of a light industrial property at 1253 W. 47th Street. It is located in the Back of the Yards neighborhood, near the historic Union Stock Yards. The current tenant is AJ Custom Designs, a cabinetry manufacturer.

SBIF Grant Impact (47th/Halsted TIF)

For Torres, the SBIF program provided a way to increase the value of his property and attract a stable tenant, as well as improve the look of the neighborhood. He transformed a vacant auto shop with an unwelcoming exterior, into a clean, updated warehouse space.

“It’s exciting to restore an old brick building to its original beauty. Restoring it to beautify the neighborhood is even more beautiful,” said Torres. “SomerCor was helpful and responsive throughout the process and we look forward to working with them on our next SBIF project.”

The scope of work at 1253 W. 47th Street included extensive interior and exterior masonry work (tuckpointing, powerwash/prime/paint/seal, steel lintel replacement), HVAC, electrical, and plumbing updates, remodeling of two restrooms, and the installation of two overhead doors and two metal service doors.

Learn More About the Small Business Improvement Fund

Launched in 1999, Chicago’s Small Business Improvement Fund promotes economic development by providing reimbursable grants for permanent building improvement. Landlords, owner/operators, and tenants (with landlord approve) are eligible to apply. Residential projects are not eligible.

SomerCor is the program administrator contracted by the Chicago Department of Planning and Development. Learn more about the program and apply by visiting