Frolic Community Development Lab Director Seattle, WA · Full time Company website

We are seeking a Development Lab Director to launch Frolic's Development Lab from its inception. In this role, you will help craft the ideation, feasibility analysis, and execution of equitable, thoughtful, and affordable multifamily cooperative housing projects that challenge convention and drive positive change.


About Frolic

We are a small team of pragmatic dreamers working to shift the existing real estate development paradigm towards community ownership. Building on the research of our founders from the MIT Center for Real Estate, we are creating pocket-communities of 6-20 homes owned collectively via the Frolic Community cooperative housing model - designed to make buying a home within reach for generational renters and first time home buyers. We build our projects in partnership with single family home owners that have greater development potential on their land and who want to age in place, house their communities, and shape the future of their neighborhoods. We have 6 projects in development and over 30 in our pipeline, and are looking for fellow dreamers with acumen to join our team. 

Learn more about our work here:

About the Role

We are seeking a Development Lab Director to launch Frolic's Development Lab from its inception. In this role, you will help craft the ideation, feasibility analysis, and execution of equitable, thoughtful, and affordable multifamily cooperative housing projects that challenge convention and drive positive change.

As the initiator of Frolic's Development Lab, you will be responsible for establishing and leading a dedicated team focused on the full lifecycle of development, from concept to construction completion. Leveraging your expertise in financial modeling, risk assessment, entitlements, budgeting, and stakeholder management, you will navigate regulatory processes and collaborate with diverse stakeholders. We seek an entrepreneurial problem-solver with a proven track record in real estate development project management, coupled with a passion for expanding communal ownership models and promoting housing equity.

In this role, you will initially hold full responsibility for building Frolic's real estate development capabilities. As we grow, your focus will transition to leading and overseeing a team that collectively handles the development duties.

This role may involve some limited regional and national travel.

Once here, you will:

  • Establish a development team that interfaces with various disciplines, including legal, accounting, finance, construction, and property management, among others.
  • Build systems and staffing for evaluating potential sites for new development cooperatives through in-depth financial modeling and risk assessment to determine project feasibility
  • Complete all due diligence required to move a project from development into construction
  • Oversee the process of obtaining all municipal entitlements - zoning, site plan, development plan approvals and permits
  • Prepare and manage project budgets and schedules, work within the project proforma
  • Work directly with local officials, community partners, landowners, and legal representatives to coordinate all issues and bring projects to a successful completion
  • Once projects are underway, oversee budgets, coordinate internal and external teams, track change orders from general contractor, create contingency plans when needed and rigorously track timelines to successful completion
  • As the organization continues to grow and evolve, duties may shift without impacting overall job description.

About You

We’re looking for someone who enjoys working in a collaborative environment with the passion to make an impact and who has a strong sense of initiative. Ideal candidates will combine real estate development expertise with a desire for social change in housing and a willingness to engage in conversations around racial and socioeconomic equity. This role would be great for someone that can balance the needs of project management with the softer human side of building communities and trust.

The key traits that are most important in this role are:

  • A comprehension of and dedication to engaging in conversations regarding historical racial and zoning inequities
  • Ability to work with individuals and institutions to think and act differently. This involves a key understanding of their needs and perspectives - to not villainize standard practices in the industry and instead work within it to expand what is possible
  • Solution-focused, with an ability to dream big and recognize obstacles that sit within rigid systems
  • Continually find ways to refine and improve systems and processes as our startup begins rapidly scaling the business
  • Ability to work independently as well as multitask while maintaining excellent attention to detail
  • Kindness and general intuition to step up to the plate when needed
  • Commitment to expanding communal ownership models and housing equity
  • Entrepreneurial, creative problem-solver comfortable with ambiguity
  • Project management skills, staying organized and following up with each partner (shepherding process along touching each aspect of the development process) 
  • Knowledge of and ability to interpret zoning codes, municipal processes and real estate terminology 
  • Exceptional relationship builder across diverse stakeholders

Expected qualifications for successful candidates include: 

  • At least 5+ years of development or related experience and an understanding of entitlement and due diligence processes required
  • Sharp financial acumen with proven ability to assess deals and create accurate projections
  • Subject matter knowledge across real estate development field including financing, partnerships, design, legal, and construction

Other aspects of your experience that would be a plus:

  • Lived experience in the ways the current housing system is failing, and/or experience working with communities currently marginalized by existing systems
  • Mixed-use and/or co-op housing experience
  • Licensed real estate agent and/or broker
  • Existing relationships with contractors, investors, foundations or lenders in target markets
  • Experience in construction, architecture, or related design field

What We Offer

This position will be full-time, in-person at the Frolic office located in Capitol Hill, Seattle. 

The salary range is $90,000 to $120,000, depending on experience.

Additionally, you will experience:

  • Mission-Driven Impact: Join a startup with an authentic social impact imperative, doing work that is creating systemic change in an industry that has been stagnant for decades. This both means making a difference in the lives of people you will get to know personally and also comes with the accolades of the spaces and institutions paying attention to our work at this moment, including the Terner Center, H.U.D., and the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative. 
  • Collaborative and Inclusive Culture: We live by our values and model the communities we are building within the culture of our organization. This means that we bring our full selves to work and take care of each other as whole people. We see each part of our team as a critical voice in the evolution of Frolic Community, and work hard to craft roles for each of us that reflect what each of us wants to bring to the world in our work. 
  • Comprehensive Benefits: As part of our belief in taking care of each other, we offer competitive benefits including health insurance, 401(k) match, unlimited PTO, and equity compensation.
  • Growth and Learning: Be part of a rapidly scaling startup where you can take on new challenges, get exposure to multiple aspects of entrepreneurship and leadership, and distinguish your career by doing complex, meaningful, bad-ass work in the field of Real Estate

How to Apply

To apply, please submit a 1 page cover letter expressing why you want to work with us and highlighting how your skills and experience align with what you see this role being. A resume/CV is optional.

If you come from a design background, please also include a portfolio of your work. If you don’t come from a design background, please share with us some examples of projects you have been involved with or work that you are proud of.

Additionally, in a two minute video, please share your vision for the future and the most significant challenges you believe cities, neighborhoods and communities face today. How would you contribute to making your vision a reality in this role while addressing these challenges? Please provide a link to an unlisted, public YouTube video in your application. Feel free to use a smartphone and please avoid editing / making anything polished. We just want to see how you talk and hold yourself.

Frolic is deeply committed to fostering diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging both in our workplace and in the communities we serve. We believe social change happens when people with a wide range of backgrounds, experiences, and identities come together with a common purpose. Frolic is built on the principles of equity, transparency and the power of human experience. Your work will improve the daily lives of real people and their future generations, and we need people with and without disabilities from diverse backgrounds, lived experiences, and skill sets to live out our mission. We strongly encourage people who have felt the impacts of the nation’s housing crisis to apply. This includes but is not limited to people most impacted by racism, ableism, homophobia, transphobia, xenophobia, classism, and other forms of oppression.


$90,000 - $120,000 per year