The Metropole Building Project

Metropole Frequently Asked Questions

Who are the primary parties involved, and what is their history and connection to the Metropole Building?

The Satterberg Foundation is the owner of the building, after purchasing it in mid-2019. The Foundation is committed to supporting nonprofits through authentic, relationship-based partnerships within BIPOC communities.

Our board seeks out opportunities to create a lasting legacy and notable impact on their local community. The board was inspired by examples of other direct investment projects undertaken by like­-minded private foundations. So, after our partners, Tiedemann Advisors, introduced the idea for the Metropole, the Board moved at unprecedented speed and was able to close on the Metropole property only nine days later.

There has been considerable learning from that moment, and every moment thereafter, but the foundation is driven by the shared values and commitment of its partners and the vision — shaped by community — of what the Metropole can become.

Tiedemann Advisors is an independent investment advisor, selected by the Satterberg Foundation in 2015 to guide a portion of the foundation’s assets into impact investments that reflect their mission and geographic focus areas. Tiedemann initially sourced the Metropole opportunity after reflecting on the evolving goals of the foundation, and have provided ongoing insight, analysis, communications, financial structuring and project coordination of the investment since its close.

BuildingWork, a Seattle-based independent firm focused on civic and community spaces, creative workplaces, adaptive use and historic preservation, is the architect for the project. They are driven by the notion that preserving these places, discovering the humanity and history of places, strengthens communities. They were selected on the basis of not only their general expertise in historic renovations, but also their prior involvement with the project during previous efforts at redevelopment. The team reflects considerable gender diversity, and two of the three primary people working on the project are women. BuildingWork had spent many years with prior owners of the building working to understand its history, constraints and opportunities — vital information that is leveraged for the benefit, and cost efficiency, of this project.

W.G. Clark Construction Co, a Seattle-based general contracting and construction management specialist, has been selected as the general contractor for the project.  W.G. Clark has a long standing history of renovating historic buildings within downtown Seattle, and they have a strong track record of working with minority and women-owned businesses. Some of the historic renovations that Clark has worked on include Terry Denney Apartments, Trinity Parish Church and the West Seattle Branch Library.

What are you hoping to achieve with this building?

Through our programmatic and community work in the Seattle area, the Satterberg Foundation was increasingly aware of the hardships many nonprofits, particularly those led by people of color or serving communities of color, were experiencing due to rising costs of operating in the city. 

We also saw massive redevelopment throughout the city, where historic legacy was routinely replaced by higher priced (more profitable) redevelopment. We want to ensure that organizations serving this community have a place in downtown Seattle. 

With the Metropole, we hope to provide affordable office space and other community amenities in a beautiful setting that adheres to the highest environmental and sustainability standards. As part of this work, we are leading a stakeholder engagement effort to ensure that the redevelopment of the Metropole aligns as best as possible to the needs of the community.

In doing so, we hope to offer any insights gained through this process in the form of shared learning to others, so that they may benefit from our successes and challenges, and hopefully continue funding legacy investments guided by purpose.

Who is the point of contact for the Metropole if I have questions?

Kendra Walker is the Community Steward/building manager for the Metropole. She oversees building operations, recruitment, marketing, as well as assesses building programming, does community outreach.

To connect with her, email metropolebuilding@satterberg.org.

Will the Satterberg Foundation profit from the Metropole Building?

This initiative was forged by the mission of the Satterberg Foundation — not by any opportunity for financial gain. The primary and motivating force is simply to support community nonprofits in our region by offering affordable workspace and community gathering space, while restoring a historic building in a modern, sustainable design.

The operating model of this project is to generate sufficient rental income to be able to maintain the property and its costs over time.

The foundation has no intention of buying more buildings or replicating this strategy elsewhere.

What are you doing to make the project community-designed and owned?

The Satterberg Foundation is committed to providing guidance in developing the property at every stage with direct guidance from the surrounding communities of color, and, in so doing, to make every attempt to meet those communities’ immediate and long-term space and service needs.

With this goal in mind, we have reached out to a broad array of individuals and organizations. 

The primary target outreach groups have included:

  • Nonprofit organizations led by persons of color;
  • Nonprofit organizations working in communities of color;
  • Local residents and businesses;
  • Local government agencies, boards and committees; and
  • Thought-leaders, artists, architects, builders and other individuals from local creative industries

What has the community said they need, in terms of programming for this space?

Diverse program mix

The findings from this engagement process recommend a program mix including affordable childcare, a significant amount of meeting and gathering space, a commercial kitchen for communal use, and a mix of open office and demised office spaces for nonprofits.

Childcare

Due to the shortage of childcare in the city and surrounding areas of Seattle, many of the respondents felt that affordable childcare would be an essential amenity to add to the building.

Traditional leased office space

Given a choice between traditional leased office space and co­ working space, 64% of the group would prefer traditional leased office space. Of those respondents, the majority (85%) were employed at organizations with 20 or fewer employees.

Flexible space

Survey respondents and focus group participants also indicated a preference for spaces with flexible, open floor plans to accommodate working desk space and affordable, shared private meeting and event space.

Commercial kitchen

Survey respondents and focus group participants indicated a strong desire for commercial kitchen space in order to build cultural bridges through food and also to serve in situ event spaces.

Inclusive and affordable

The broader community indicated that The Metropole should strive for true inclusion by being accessible, inclusive, and affordable by both standard metrics (price, size etc.) and from a human perspective (tone at reception, ability to accommodate differing mobility/sensory challenges, etc.).

Events and gathering space

The broader community requested that nonprofits from target communities should be able to host events, meetings, and other important gatherings in spaces that are beautiful, well maintained, well amenitized, and affordably priced.

Shared access to resources and amenities

The broader community would like to be able to access, on site, many of the resources needed to grow and support their organizations and potentially share resources (WiFi, bookkeeping, HR, graphic design, etc.) across teams.

Can you tell me more about the layout of the building?

(View a PDF of plans/drawings for the future of the Metropole space.)

The lower level/basement

This area will maintain its unique historical character. The space includes brick masonry walls, open, high ceilings and original brick archways leading into each room. The restored space will include a mix of small, intimate gathering spaces as well as larger event spaces that can be temporarily demised/united to accommodate differing event sizes.

Ground floor/1st floor

The first floor will provide a transformative space that will serve as a tenant lounge as well as a space for pop ups, art exhibits, and events. Our commercial kitchen as well as our childcare administrative office will also be accessed through the first floor.

Mezzanine

The mezzanine is a level overlooking the first floor. It will have one open-air office suitable for a team of 6-8 people.

Floor 2

Floor will be occupied by office space on one side and childcare classrooms and facilities on the other side. All floors will be accessible by a secured elevator and fire-graded staircase.

Floor 3

Floor will be occupied by office space on one side and childcare classrooms and facilities on the other side. All floors will be accessible by a secured elevator and fire-graded staircase.

Floor 4

Floor 4 will be occupied by office space.

Rooftop

The roof terrace will feature an enclosed childcare play area and event space for tenants and the community.

What kind of amenities will the Metropole have?

Event spaces

The Metropole will have a number of event and meeting spaces, including a large space for up to 100 individuals, a conference room for medium-sized groups, and breakout rooms for small groups.

Commercial and catering kitchens

The Metropole will have two food prep spaces: a larger commercial kitchen as well as a catering kitchen.  

Rooftop terrace

The Metropole will have a rooftop terrace that can double as a private event space for up to 35 individuals.

State-of-the-art HVAC

The Metropole’s HVAC system will be LEED-certified, with radiant heating and cooling.

Bike storage

The Metropole will have dedicated bike storage space for those commuting in this way to the site.

Onsite showers

The Metropole will have private showers and storage space.

Will this building be environmentally sustainable?

The design and engineering of the building will be held to the highest environmental and sustainability standards, with a goal of achieving LEED Platinum certification.

When will construction start?

Construction of the Metropole is slated to begin in early 2022, with a completion date toward the end of 2023. The building will be available to tenants to move in upon completion.

How are you continuing to engage the community?

We have entered into the next phase of community engagement, in which we are reaching back out to those individuals and groups who generously offered time, insight and ideas for this project in order to reflect what was heard and gain further insight as we finalize tenant amenities. We are also connecting with other organizations in the community to make them aware of the project and gather further analysis that can help to shape the community and tenant make up within the Metropole.

We will engage in a thoughtful, deliberate and community-driven tenant application process. We will strive to fill the building with nonprofit organizations who serve communities of color and who will benefit from being in a space in which the synergistic collaboration of the whole is greater than the individual parts. 

Interested community members and potential tenants can find out more about the project on our request for tenancy page.