Orange County’s First Multi-Tenant Nonprofit Center
Sharing space is a proven and sustainable solution to many of the financial and operational challenges facing nonprofits today. Bill Podlich, retired co-founder of PIMCO and former OCCF Board member, was inspired by a multi-tenant nonprofit center he visited in Colorado to explore whether this model would work in Orange County, and he sought out OCCF to help make his vision a reality.
Through OCCF Podlich connected with fellow philanthropist Warren Lortie, an architect and real estate investor, who became equally inspired about the potential of this model to strengthen and support Orange County nonprofits.
Our goal is to help as many nonprofits as possible become stronger and more self-sufficient. The Village at 17th Street is just the beginning of our vision for Orange County.
– Bill Podlich, Board President, Orange County Shared Spaces Foundation
The Orange County Shared Spaces Foundation was formed under OCCF’s administration, and the search for a site culminated with the purchase of the former El Patio building at 1505 S. 17th Street in Santa Ana, a two-story hacienda-style building with 33,800 square feet of office space surrounding a lovely outdoor courtyard.
The Village at 17th began welcoming nonprofit tenants in June 2010 and is now fully leased to a diverse community of 18 philanthropic organizations, including nonprofit service providers and regional funders. In addition to stable and affordable office space, The Village provides its tenants a broad array of amenities including a 2,500 square foot conference center with a boardroom, training room and kitchen, and a 50-person training room offered to fellow Village tenants by Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA).
An on-site concierge not only coordinates use of the shared meeting spaces, but supports The Village community through monthly lunch-and-learn sessions and special events throughout the year, including an annual bookswap and twice-monthly yoga classes provided for free by a Village tenant.
Not only has the Village created a productive, resourceful and innovative community for its nonprofit tenants, it has become a road map that could inform future projects.
“There is far more demand than we can currently fulfill”, says OCCF president Shelley Hoss. “Our hope was to create a model that others could be inspired and guided by.”