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Exclusive Tour: LGBT Center Renovations Will Triple Nonprofit Office Space

Renovations at San Francisco’s LGBT Center are well underway and will ultimately triple the center’s capacity. Earlier this summer, Capital One partnered with the Northern California Community Loan Fund to provide $10.3M to fund these renovations.


We took a tour of the renovations with San Francisco LGBT Center director of communications Alberto Lammers, above in front of what will be the new Rainbow Room. Alberto tells us the renovations will expand the center’s capabilities and provide more space for nonprofits.

“We are keeping nonprofit rental partners in mind,” Alberto says. “Affordability is driving away small nonprofits, and we want to have a space here for them.”


Capital One Community Finance is in the process of identifying new partners and deal opportunities in the Bay Area. The LGBT Center is the first of many deals to come, Capital One VP of originations and community finance Desiree Francis, above, tells Bisnow.

Desiree says Capital One Community Finance partners with organizations that are “innovators in their field and are knowledgeable on how best to serve their communities.”

“We seek out opportunities that positively impact and expand opportunities for communities and residents, especially those in low- to moderate-income communities,” she says.

For the LGBT Center, Capital One “really understood the impact that the rehabilitation would have on its ability to expand its services,” she says.

Capital One’s Community Finance team took the lead on the transaction with help from the Public Finance, Middle Market NMTC Originations, Global Tax and Community Affairs teams, making this a “collaboration of the bank coming together to achieve a specific purpose,” Desiree says.

Capital One has provided similar New Market Tax Credit investments to other nonprofits, including the Hunger Relief Center at Metro CareRing, Denver’s leading hunger prevention organization; and Family House, a nonprofit organization providing temporary housing to families of seriously ill children receiving treatment at the University of California San Francisco Benioff Children’s Hospital.

Capital One Community Finance actively supports housing efforts that serve specific populations, such as youth aging out of foster care, formerly incarcerated, victims of domestic violence and people with mental disabilities.


For the LGBT Center, the funding means the center can increase access to services and facilities. Among the nonprofits already moving into the renovated center is Bay Area Legal Aid, which will occupy the entire third floor. Its offices are shown under construction above.

“The new building will allow us to grow, to serve more people, including those who are displaced, whether they are a small family or a small nonprofit business needing a place to meet,” Alberto says.

It will also make the building sustainable through the additional income, according to Alberto. The LGBT Center has about 100,000 visits per year and expects to surpass that number with the new facilities, programs and tenants.

While the center focuses on the LGBTQ community, it is not exclusive and offers the community youth services, connects people to legal resources and health services, and provides educational resources for housing and employment.


Another new tenant, A&PI Wellness Center, will open a health clinic, above, focusing on caring for LGBTQ patients and people of color.


AGUILAS, the Center’s only current tenant, will move into a new space, above. The nonprofit focuses on LGBT Latinos and offers HIV prevention. The new tenants will move into their new offices within the next few months.

“We are happy with the tenants we have,” Alberto says. “We want to connect people to more resources.”

Check out more of the renovations below


The LGBT Center’s new lobby, above, will have an enclosed meeting space out front. The ground floor will host San Francisco liaison for the transgender community Theresa Sparks. Youth center staff will move into the new lobby space. An art gallery and cybercenter will also be within the first floor lobby area.


The cybercenter, above, will have 10 to 12 workstations and provide additional access for people to search for and get in touch with the services they need, according to Alberto.


The LGBT Center put a ceiling over the atrium, above, creating additional meeting space. The new renovations will expand the LGBT Center’s available rentable meeting space, adding two conference rooms and providing additional space for the community.


Alberto’s favorite renovation is the new Rainbow Room, above, a large conference room open to the community to rent for events, meetings and seminars. The Center will use the room to host economic development and educational seminars about financing, homeownership and more.


The renovations will include freshening the LGBT Center’s Victorian building and will add new carpeting and paint, as well as coating windows to help with energy efficiency. The entire center will be painted with lots of color both inside and out.

“The renovations will honor the history of the building while looking ahead to the future,” Alberto says.