A foursome of local nonprofits is shacking up in Manchester.
The Boys and Girls Clubs of Metro Richmond, First Tee of Greater Richmond, Communities In Schools of Richmond, and Higher Achievement’s Richmond office are moving in together this summer into a shared 15,000-square-foot headquarters building at 100 Everett St.
The old warehouse building will be redeveloped to serve as administrative offices (dubbed “neighborhoods”) for each organization, and will also feature shared training and meeting spaces in a bid to create more cost-efficient and collaborative operations.
“We each have our own neighborhoods, but there are many points in the building where people can interact with each other,” said Todd McFarlane, Boys and Girls Clubs of Metro Richmond’s president and CEO.
Renovations are underway at the property and the groups are expected to move in by July. The building is owned by Kids First Development LLC, made up of an investor group led by Kirk Tattersall, a co-founder of local financial firm 1607 Capital Partners. He also has spent 10 years on the board of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Metro Richmond, and a similar amount of time on the board of First Tee of Greater Richmond.
The LLC bought the property for $1.4 million in December 2019, according to city records. The property was purchased specifically for the nonprofits’ use. It was most recently valued at $603,000.
Tattersall said the LLC is shouldering the cost of the renovation, which he said will be $4 million inclusive of the money spent to acquire the property.
Fultz and Singh Architects is the project’s architect, and Hourigan is the contractor. 7 Hills Advisors is the broker and project manager.
The nonprofits’ leadership expect to see several benefits stem from the arrangement, among them improved cross-organization collaboration and better staff recruitment as well as cheaper rent and back-office expenses. The organizations had already-established relationships through their shared focus on children.
“We had this whole idea that collaboration is a neat thing, but it’s kind of an unnatural event (when done in separate offices). Wouldn’t it be neat if you put people in a space where as a natural outgrowth they’re talking and getting to know each other,” Communities In Schools President and CEO Harold Fitrer said.
The organizations expect to save a combined $80,000 in rent annually compared to their previous accommodations. The groups also expect they will have a more desirable workplace for potential employees with the move.
“It shows a sophistication of all the organizations of, ‘Hey, we have our acts together, we’re working with other groups and we’re working in communities where we are impacting kids,” First Tee CEO Brent Schneider said.
First Tee, a youth golf organization, plans to reopen a renovated and modernized Belmont Golf Course in May, which it manages on behalf of Henrico County.
Boys and Girls Clubs, First Tee and Communities in Schools confirmed they have already vacated their previous administrative offices, and are either working remotely or on an as-needed basis in programming spaces. Between those three organizations, it’s expected that about 30 people will work out of the Manchester space.
Boys and Girls Clubs left its headquarters of more than a decade at 5511 Staples Mill Road in December. First Tee vacated its previous headquarters at 9211 Forest Hill Ave. last year. Communities In Schools of Richmond left its previous administrative office at 2922 W. Marshall St. in November.
The Richmond office of Higher Achievement, a D.C.-based educational support nonprofit, wasn’t available for comment Thursday.
The concept of a shared space for the nonprofits is a few years in the making.
Tattersall said that his experience on nonprofit boards brought him into the orbit of nonprofits geared toward children and clued him into the need for such organizations to work together more efficiently.
“I’ve been on a kick in recent years to see if I can make those connections a little deeper,” he said, adding that he’s familiar with similar shared administration concepts elsewhere in the country.
“I felt like I would be willing to invest in something like this for a significantly below market return to achieve a few things: the cost savings the organizations get and intentional collaborative opportunities in terms of working together more closely,” he said. “They all have very similar missions and very similar approaches on how to deliver service to the kids who need it the most.”