Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Public Space at Public Storage

A place for Glassell Park to meet ...
Monday we opened a fabulous, unique new community space in at 3700 N. Verdugo Road in Glassell Park. This space-7,400 square feet comprising a senior center, a CD13 field office, a hot lunch kitchen and individual offices and storage spaces for the Glassell Park Improvement Association and the Glassell Park Neighborhood Council - is particularly special because, like no other public facility I know about, it's housed in a Public Storage facility, the colorful building that meets your eye as you exit the 2 freeway on Verdugo Road.

Seniors sharing coffee
...and greet...
After a rocky start in the community, Public Storage has become a great neighbor. When it wanted to change its operations, it sought community input as to how it could help the community as it shifted from an underutilized drop-off facility to a typical storage center. With great participation from local groups facilitated by my deputy Mitch O'Farrell, the vision for the multi-purpose center took shape.

Seniors sharing coffee
...and cook up something to eat.
The Glassell Park Seniors were tired of having to play an inadvertent dodgeball game with local youth everytime they met next door at the recreation center. There weren't enough parking spaces or meeting rooms at that center to meet the growing community's needs. All these concerns factored into the design that has now been realized in a state-of-the-art public space where our the vital grass-roots organizations that make our democracy hum can meet, plan or argue the shape of their neighborhoods and our lives.

Public Storage has given us the space for a 30-year, $1-annual lease. We'll make the most of it.