Seattle Foundation Blog

Seattle Foundation to invest $1M in the Opportunity Center at Othello Square

Opportunity Center at Othello Square is dedicated to opening the door to home ownership for communities that have been historically excluded from its benefits.


November 09, 2020

By Kris Hermanns, chief impact officer, and Allison Parker, managing director, philanthropy strategies

The Opportunity Center at Othello Square is dedicated to opening the door to home ownership for communities that have been historically and systematically excluded from its benefits. The Opportunity Center’s innovative approach balances income-generating apartments and community-owned spaces to produce a sustainable model free of the ongoing need for philanthropic support.

Located next to the Othello light rail station in Southeast Seattle, the Opportunity Center at Othello Square is a scaled, equitable, transit-oriented development site in the heart of the most diverse zip code in the city. It is a mixed-use and mixed-income village where residents and neighbors can live and thrive on one campus with access to homes, schools, jobs, healthcare, STEM training and more. The Opportunity Center will be a welcoming community for diverse cultures and ethnicities, providing the following critical services:

  • Postsecondary education connected to job skill development,
  • Small business assistance and an entrepreneurship center,
  • Employment services, and
  • Affordable commercial space for neighborhood businesses and cultural organizations to stabilize services offered to the diverse residents of South Seattle.

The vision for the Opportunity Center has been community-led and -designed with planning that began more than 10 years ago. HomeSight Community Development, a 501(c)(3) corporation based in the community, led the creation of the master plan and is the developer of two of the four buildings in the 3.2 acre parcel.

About Seattle Foundation’s Investment

Seattle Foundation is making a $1 million, 10-year, 3% mission-related investment in the form of an interest-only unsecured promissory note to Othello Opportunity Center Housing LLC. This investment would support the development of the residential portion of the Opportunity Center at Othello Square.

The residential portion is projected to include 213 units. These units will provide housing for area residents and families making $46,000 - $83,000 annually. About 60% of these units (113) are projected as homes for community members earning 80% AMI or less (e.g., currently ~$70K for a two-person household).

Invitation to Join Us

Philanthropists are invited to join Seattle Foundation by recommending an investment from their donor advised fund. These investments will be for the same terms described above and may be made in increments of $25,000. Collectively, Seattle Foundation donor advised funds must reach a minimum of $250,000 for this investment to move forward.

To learn more, please join us in early 2021 for the following events (exact dates to be announced):

  • Investor call webinar featuring leadership from both HomeSight and Seattle Foundation.
  • Site visit following social distancing protocols outdoors to see the Opportunity Center at Othello Square firsthand.

To participate, please complete the impact investment recommendation form no later than February 16, 2021.

A copy of the Subscription Package is available upon request.

For further information, contact your philanthropic advisor or Jesus Carbajal at j.carbajal@seattlefoundation.org or 206.388.1665.

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