Historic Community Center Acquisition

University Heights - Seattle

Stephen Antupit expertly guided neighbors and navigated community partner interests into action when an historic school structure’s ongoing, below-market availability as a community, youth arts and educational asset was suddenly served with a “purchase or vacate” ultimatum. While the landmark building continued its workaday service, its marginal physical condition overshadowed the irreplaceable location for community use. In part to solve bigger financial problems, the local School District demanded the market-rate purchase and sale of several similarly-challenged facilities.

A coalition of community non-profit master tenants joined forces to meet the challenge. Stephen provided critical representation on behalf of University Heights Board, whilst bolstering the organization’s board capacity with additional members and expertise. He thoughtfully navigated complex relationships and expectations among stakeholders with varied levels of real estate knowledge and very limited public finance acumen.

Completing these real estate transactions required strategic coordination and communications as part of multi-party funding requests from allied community-based groups, collective and private briefings to elected officials, and negotiating terms for multiple grants and a forgivable loan. Internally, Stephen catalyzed the board’s maturation, moving the non-profit organization from a caretaker role to an ownership position. The efforts succeeded, with over $9 Million capital funding secured from multiple public sources. Now established in its ownership position, U Heights has secured additional funding for restoration efforts and completed several capital projects.

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