The Delta Society is an international non-profit organization dedicated to improving human health through service and therapy animals. In 2003 Delta was in the middle of a capital campaign to build a national headquarters and training center in Federal Way, Washington. Delta had purchased the site and started construction of the site improvements. From the inception of the project in 2000, the projected cost of the land and building had escalated to $7.3 million and the capital campaign from $6 million to $14 million (including a $5 million endowment). By late 2003, the board had raised $6 million and was faced with the decision to start construction of the building with an $8 million shortfall in the capital campaign.
One of the board members was referred to Bob Naito as a developer with experience working with non-profit boards of directors who could quickly review the project and make recommendations. Bob recommended that the Federal Way project be terminated and a search for an existing building closer to Seattle be initiated. The board adopted these recommendations and hired Bob to carry them out. By then it was critical for Delta to relocate to the new facilities before the expiration of its existing lease in July 2004.
“Investing in the experience and talent Bob brought to this project was the wisest investment our board could have made.”
–Larry Norvell, President/CEO
Working closely with the executive and facilities committees of the board, Bob developed a matrix of building and location criteria that governed the search. He quickly assembled a development team that included a Seattle-based commercial broker, architect, interior designer and general contractor. During the search, a number of existing buildings and potential sites were evaluated.
After Delta had selected the building, Bob was instrumental in negotiating the purchase, securing bridge financing pending the sale of the Federal Way property, and remodeling the space to meet the expectations of the board members and major capital campaign donors.
When the original lender pulled out of the deal in the eleventh hour, Bob was able to replace the financing and close on the purchase of the building in less than two weeks. Delta moved into their new headquarters before their lease had expired.
In terms of numbers, the building was purchased for less than $3.5 million and the remodeling cost was under $300,000. Compared to the original plans, Delta was able to live within their original capital campaign budget, meet their schedule, and relocate to Bellevue, which was clearly a much better location than either their old offices in Renton or the abandoned Federal Way site.
Location: Bellevue, Washington
Owner: The Delta Society
Developer: Naito Development LLC
Completion: September 2004
Project cost: $6.5 Million
Program: Acquisition, tenant improvements and landscaping a 24,000 square foot office building to create a national headquarters and training center
Architects: OTAK Architects and Edelman Soljaga Watson
Contractor: GLY Construction
Financing: Pacific Continental Bank