Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Crain's: How ShoreBank's successor is digging out

It's about time we look at local institution Urban Partnership Bank as they have assumed operations in the branch located near 79th & Dan Ryan. How are they shaking out since they took over for the former ShoreBank:
The successor to ShoreBank, the high-profile urban community lender that failed in August 2010, finally got its loan machine working last year.

Urban Partnership Bank, based on Chicago's South Side, blew through its $26 million loan-origination goal for 2012, lending $35 million to small businesses and real estate investors on the city's South and West sides.

The $1.1 billion-asset bank, which employs 311, has set a $42 million lending goal for 2013. Bank executives said they continue to be cautious yet are finding opportunities in neighborhoods that have been devastated economically and are suffering through a rash of gun violence that has made national headlines.

The good news: “We think fundamentals are stabilizing in our neighborhoods,” CEO William Farrow said in an interview.

But Mr. Farrow's isn't sugarcoating the situation: “As a friend recently said, he could buy his parents' house for the same price they paid in 1963.”

Loans to small businesses such as day care providers, security firms, food-service companies and restaurants make up about 60 percent of Urban Partnership Bank's volume right now. The remainder is commercial real estate loans to apartment rehabbers and investors in single-family homes as Chicago's mainly African-American neighborhoods on the South and West sides begin the long recovery from a housing bust that was significantly deeper than better-off areas experienced.

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