Why You Can’t Manufacture Culture with Jaebadiah Gardner

Dot Dot Dot: The NINE dot ARTS Podcast
Episode 37

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“You can’t manufacture culture,” says Jaebadiah Gardner, author, fund manager, real estate developer, and CEO of GardnerGlobal, a Seattle-based company that specializes in building wealth and improving communities through mixed-use, multifamily, market-rate, workforce, and affordable housing projects. In this inspiring episode, Jaebadiah shares his passion for building wealth among communities of color. Beyond traditional assets, Jaebadiah explains the importance of educational, intellectual, and even relationship wealth as critical tools for empowering individuals toward investment in themselves, their communities, and their cities. 

Jaebadiah discusses successful completed projects like Seattle’s Liberty Bank Building in partnership with Community Roots Housing, as well as projects in development like the transformation of Mount Calvary Church into The Sarah Queen. The space will become a mixed-income, mixed-use, affordable housing apartment named after his late grandmother Sarah Queen Gardner. As the first Black woman to open a beauty salon in Spokane, WA, Jaebadiah plans to pay homage to her and Black women entrepreneurship through the building’s design and artwork. As an overall approach to real estate development and wealth building, Jaebadiah concludes that, “organic culture will seep into the project because you’re not leading with the bottom line; you’re leading with culture and substance.”

Discussed in the Episode: 
Bisnow Recap: Revitalizing Downtown Seattle
Western Michigan University Cooley Law School
Turner Construction
Seattle’s Central District
Liberty Bank Building
Community Roots Housing
Art at the Liberty Bank Building
GardnerGlobal acquires Mount Calvary Church to be transformed in the Sarah Queen
Seattle Restored
Pike Place Market 
The Gum Wall
Architecture in Mexico City

About Jaebadiah Gardner:
Jaebadiah S. Gardner is an African-American, Mexican-American businessman, multifamily real estate developer, fund manager, and author. He is also a Managing Partner for the Seattle-based Onpoint Real Estate, which engages in full-service residential and commercial development, as well as Founder and CEO of the Seattle-based GardnerGlobal, Inc., a privately held holding company that specializes in creating a collaborative network of businesses through targeted acquisitions and strategic partnerships. Jaebadiah specializes in bringing together government, private capital, community and design partners with the goal of  overcoming complex project hurdles and building generational wealth.

Jaebadiah earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Washington and later earned his J.D.  from Western Michigan Law School. Prior to development, Jaebadiah worked for Turner Construction building commercial high-rises in downtown Seattle. Since 2009, he has built up a client base of both private and non-profit partners, providing feasibility, pre-development, and development services. Jaebadiah was most recently selected as a 2022-2023 LISC/Amazon fellow. He currently has a pipeline of over 800+ units and over $210 million in total project costs on urban infill sites in Seattle’s most gentrified neighborhoods. Jaebadiah serves on the University of Washington Runstad Advisory Board and Seattle Metropolitan Board of Trustees and is the President of the University of Washington MAP Board.

About Dot Dot Dot: The NINE dot ARTS Podcast
Dot Dot Dot is the continuing conversation around art and placemaking in the built environment. Hosted by NINE dot ARTS CEO Martha Weidmann, episodes explore art, culture, community, and more with a range of reputable business leaders. Tune in biweekly to learn how an original art experience can boost your business and make a social impact. Episodes are available wherever you get your podcasts!