Senior Project Manager

Position Background

The Senior Project Manager assumes responsibility for coordinating and managing special initiatives, consulting, and development projects of all sizes and participating in projects led by other staff. The Senior Project Manager takes an active role in securing new work, planning projects, defining methodology and work plans, coordinating and leading a project team, adhering to project budgets and timelines, managing client and inter-departmental relationships, presenting findings to clients and project accounting and reporting. The Senior Project Manager works on many real estate projects simultaneously, participates in departmental planning meetings for projects, is an active Project Team Leader or Project Team Member on projects, and supports the work of the Director, Vice President and other RES staff as necessary.

The Organization

One of America’s leading nonprofit community development financial institutions (CDFIs), IFF strengthens nonprofits and their communities through lending and real estate consulting that helps these organizations plan, finance, and build facilities that are critical to their success. Founded in 1988, IFF has total assets of more than $220 million and serves nonprofits working with low-income communities and special needs populations in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Missouri and Wisconsin. IFF has a staff of 61 and offices throughout the region.

The Real Estate Services Department provides a wide range of real estate consulting and real estate development services to Midwestern nonprofits and in support of the agency’s broader goal of promoting comprehensive community development through help with the planning, designing, development and construction of facilities.

Staff contributes its extensive business experience with an unrivaled connection to the mission of IFF and the nonprofit clients it serves. IFF is looking for candidates with a commitment to the work it does and can demonstrate their creativity, detail-orientation, diligence, efficiency, enthusiasm, flexibility, organization, thoughtfulness, and sense of humor.

Responsibilities of the Position

Plans and organizes special initiatives, real estate consulting, or development projects of all sizes, including establishing goals and timelines, and delineating clear steps that will lead to successfully completing the project.

Manages special initiatives and large, complex consulting projects and represents IFF on such projects. From time to time, may manage development projects and represent IFF on such projects or work with IFF’s Owner’s Representative.

Coordinates all aspects of project management for each project or initiative assigned, including scheduling internal and external meetings as appropriate, following project steps that have been delineated, training and mentoring new project associates and project managers, and ensuring that project goals and milestones are being met.

  • Performs financial analysis and modeling for a wide range of projects; develops and analyzes real estate development budgets; prepares detailed multi-year operating budgets and cash flow projections; determines client’s ability to take on debt for a project and to own and/or lease and manage real estate; assesses various financing; recommends financing scenarios; and develops financial packages.
  • Performs real estate analysis and manages the acquisition process for a wide range of projects; structures complicated lease or ownership arrangements; conducts zoning and code reviews of properties; and estimates the market value of properties through various appraisal methods.
  • Conducts strategic facilities planning for clients who have multiple sites or are considering expanding to multiple sites, including assessment of client’s facilities, space needs, program goals, financial capacity, and service area demographics. Recommends and prioritizes disposition, consolidation, and/or relocation strategies based on findings from assessment.
  • Conducts site visits and performs assessments and evaluations of potential buildings and vacant land for projects. Manages all aspects of site visits.
  • Coordinates all predevelopment work associated with projects.
  • Solicits bids from and secures various real estate professionals and vendors for work on projects. Evaluates and makes recommendations on bids and negotiates terms of work and approves hiring of vendors.
  • Works with IFF’s Closing and Escrow Services (CES) Department, private lenders and government officials to coordinate the financial closing of projects prior to construction.
  • Prepares written reports and analyses as necessary for projects, including real estate project feasibility reports, facility assessment reports, and other consulting reports as required by the project. Assesses the status of projects against their plan and schedule, identifies actual or potential problems, and facilitates and guides solutions to ensure completion.

Assists other Project Team Leaders as a Project Team Member in a supporting capacity and carries out duties as assigned by the Project Team Leader.

Makes presentations to and facilitates meetings with clients, represents IFF Real Estate Services at meetings, presentations and events, when requested by the Director or Vice President of RES, and prepares written materials on projects for other IFF departments.

Develops new client relationships through networking and marketing efforts in coordinating with the Director and Vice President of Real Estate Services.


Bachelor’s Degree required, preferably in urban planning or studies, business or finance. Advanced degree in real estate, planning, policy, business, social science or social work preferred.

Desired Skills and Experience

At least five years experience in economic or community development, real estate analysis or project development, financial analysis, or construction management.

  • Direct experience with real estate development projects; knowledge of affordable housing programs, charter schools and nonprofits preferred.
  • Direct project management experience.
  • Experience working with clients or constituents.
  • Analytical and strategic skills; ability to plan, manage and implement multiple and complex projects; and ability to understand and conceptualize project goals.
  • Strong financial and analytical skills; overall understanding of finance and lending.
  • Excellent communication (written and oral) and interpersonal skills and ability to translate complex real estate and other concepts into relatable concepts.
  • Experience working with a team and managing a multitude of relationships and project partners.
  • Familiarity with the concepts of green design and construction and, ideally, experience with the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEEDâ„¢ Green Building Rating System (desirable, but not required).
  • Knowledge of construction practices and terminology and ability to read architectural drawings.
  • Ability to learn and use a wide variety of computer software related to project management, including word processing, database programs, spreadsheet and project management packages.

Unusual Physical Requirements: Regular travel in the assigned metro region and occasional travel throughout the Midwest is required. The Senior Project Manager will visit abandoned buildings and vacant lots, as well as construction project sites, for purposes of inspection and assessment; Occasional evening and weekend work may be required.

How to apply

To apply, submit a cover letter, resume and qualifications to:

John Kuhnen

Chief Administrative Officer


One North LaSalle, Suite 700

Chicago, IL 60602

No phone calls

Chicago, Illinois
John Kuhnen

One North LaSalle St., Suite 700, Chicago, IL, 60602, US