Old firehouse to be converted to community center in West San Fernando Valley
On Tuesday, August 26, the Los Angeles City Council unanimously voted to direct the office of General Services to execute a lease with the Armenian Cultural Foundation. The city council resolution grants a 30-year lease for surplus city property in the city of Encino. The Armenian Cultural foundation will utilize the property as a community center.
The Armenian Cultural Foundation plans to invest upwards of $1.5 million dollars into the property to provide much needed social, educational, youth and senior services to the entire community. The property is an out-of-service fire station on Balboa Boulevard., just north of Ventura Boulevard. Since its decommission more than seven years ago, the property has been subject to vandalism, theft, and graffiti. Its current state has caused health and safety concerns for the community and the elementary school directly next door to the property.
The City Council resolution authorizing the lease was first introduced by Councilman Paul Koretz and then-Councilman Eric Garcetti in 2013. The motion for the lease was also seconded by Paul Krekorian.
Tuesdays final vote was the culmination of a long effort by the Armenian Cultural Foundation to find a property to base its non-profit and charitable work. The ACF is a 501 (c)(3) federally recognized tax-exempt charitable organization. It operates dozes of community centers throughout the nation, offering community services and programing tailored to the needs of their respective communities.
A report by the city administrative officer estimated economic community benefits at a value of about $17 million dollars throughout the lease term. The final agreement also includes a provision for the ACF to provide much needed teacher parking at the adjacent school.
“It’s these types of public-private partnerships that make the city a better place to live” said Hrair Nahabedian, Chairman of the local ACF chapter, “we look forward to focusing our resources and turning this delapidated, old fire station into a thriving center for the entire community” concluded Nahabedian.