Conceptual/Schematic drawings for attached ancillary structure, new construction for program expansion (i.e. offices)

Oakland, California

Design Disciplines Needed

Desired Services
We need to connect to an architect to do a basic drawing for the kitchen and office space we want to add to the building as part of our capital campaign. There is 1,500-2,000 square feet in the back lot of our building that we are considering as the area for this additional office space. We specifically need a conceptual drawing for an attached ancillary structure for program expansion (i.e. offices). Once we have a conceptual drawing, we plan to engage a Contractor Estimator that can help us determine the minimum amount of money we will need to secure to proceed with construction of additional office space as part of our capital campaign to purchase our building.

Project Description

In 2009, United Roots built the first “green” youth center in Oakland, in partnership with the City of Oakland as part of the Community Development Block Grant to serve youth from West Oakland (District 3) and other North Oakland regions. United Roots was established as a non-profit organization in 2010, and with major funding from the Black Eyed Peas & Adobe Foundation became the Oakland Peapod Adobe Youth Voices academy. During the first 3 years of incubation, United Roots had an annual membership of over 200 youth, was partnered with high schools throughout Oakland and produced an extensive collection of social impact media for local campaigns.

United Roots empowers marginalized youth in socially innovative ways utilizing the following four strategies:
• Personal Development: creating a safe, sustainable environment to heal and grow through community rituals, cultural healing practices and wellness services.
• Creative Arts Education: instilling confidence and developing talent through digital, technological and performing arts.
• Career and Workforce Mentorship: cultivating innovation and entrepreneurship through fellowships, mentorship, employment pipelines and business incubation.
• Civic Engagement: building coalitions between communities of color, decision makers, and employers to advocate for community change.

Uber has already started construction on their new headquarters in Uptown Oakland, a business district just 10 blocks from United Roots. The demographics in the neighborhood have already been changing dramatically, with Black residents leaving in record numbers and many small businesses being displaced. The current economic development in Oakland is creating new opportunities, but if long-term residents are not able to actively participate, the violent cycle of displacement will accelerate, and Oakland will lose it’s vibrant cultural heritage and reputation for diversity.

The United Roots building is a storefront office in the Koreatown Northgate (KONO) business district on a major thorough-way. United Roots Staff have been doing community work in this building for over 15 years, so the building is like a home to both youth and staff. United Roots has the option to build-out additional office space (into the back-lot area) and the building is zoned to build up to 40 feet for additional levels. United Roots currently has the first-right-to-refusal (in the current lease), and is launching a capital campaign to purchase the building as soon as possible, because with Uber moving their headquarters into downtown Oakland, the KONO neighborhood is becoming prime real estate for businesses and agencies.

The Building Owner of United Roots’ facility is a long time ally and friend of Co-Founder and Executive Director Galen Silvestri, and he has been supportive of United Roots since its inception in 2010. He is encouraging United Roots to purchase the building because he supports the mission of the organization and wants to preserve Oakland’s cultural legacy. The City of Oakland Mayor’s Office has also been a key ally in United Roots’ goal of purchasing the building, and the Mayor has stated that United Roots is an indispensable community asset, strategically located in the downtown area giving low-income residents direct access to developing economies.


Activity 1
Due Diligence Process: We have secured $25,000 from Valley Foundation to conduct due diligence activities. We have completed a Capital Needs Assessment with consultant Elizabeth McLachlan & an appraisal of the building with Ronald Blum. Additional due diligence activities include testing for asbestos & lead, ALTA survey and more. We started these activities in November 2016 and plan to finish no later than fall 2017.

Activity 2
Fundraising: Between January and December 2017 we plan to secure the funding needed for purchase of the building. We are excited about the prospect of securing up to $1 million from a major donor by March 2017, and hope to leverage that donation to get Valley Foundation to contribute additional funding needed for the purchase of the building and renovations. By Spring 2017 we anticipate going public with our capital campaign to garner additional support from individual donors. If we cannot secure the funding needed for acquisition by December 2017 we have the option of obtaining a low-interest loan from a Foundation by March 2018.

Activity 3
Negotiate Purchase & Sale Agreement with Building Owner: After conducting the appraisal of the building in winter 2017, we will proceed with negotiations with the building owner. We anticipate these negotiations will lead to a purchase and sale agreement no later than the end of summer 2017.

Activity 4
Escrow & Closing: Once the purchase & sale agreement is completed we will proceed with escrow, transferring funds we raised, including loan funds if needed. Upon closing we will transfer the building title to United Roots organization and pay the transfer tax.

Activity 5
Renovations & Building Additional Office Space: We anticipate the building will be purchased and in the possession of United Roots no later than March 2018. Once United Roots has ownership of the building we will conduct systems upgrades, such as updating the HVAC system, and minor renovations. We would also like to do construction for a kitchen upgrade and building out additional office space in the back of the building.