Tentative Agreement Reached for Schroeder Hall Use as East Police Substation

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The City of Long Beach and Mental Health America (MHA) have reached a tentative agreement on the homeless accommodation required for reuse of the Schroeder Hall facility.

Under federal law, the City is required to secure a homeless accommodation site before conveyance of the Schroeder Hall site from the Army for use as a future East Police Substation. On March 19, the City Council will consider the purchase of a 28,237 square foot building at 1955-1965 Long Beach Boulevard for use as the homeless accommodation site. Under the tentative agreement, the City will purchase the building, lease it to MHA for 10 years and then convey the property to MHA. MHA will be required to offer high-quality retail services at the location (such as coffee and baked goods) as well as job training and mental health services to their clients. This facility is designed to benefit the neighborhood by offering job training to MHA clients and a high-quality retail establishment, along with a community meeting room.

“I’m pleased that the City and MHA have come to a mutually beneficial agreement that will allow the development of the Schroeder Hall facility to move forward as our East Police Substation and provide much needed services to individuals struggling with mental illness and homelessness,” said Mayor Bob Foster.

“What we have done here is create a positive benefit for the community,” said 6th District Councilmember Dee Andrews. “Under this arrangement, the 6th District will receive much needed retail and provided amenities for the neighborhood. The plan calls for an outside patio, coffee, refreshments, deli, bakery, meeting space for the community to come together, and free wi-fi. This $4 million investment brings jobs with professional employees working at the location, as well as job training, and a great retail establishment to reactivate this section of Long Beach Boulevard to serve all of the Long Beach community.”

The facility will also have operating conditions required under the agreement to ensure the facility will co-exist with the neighborhood. These provisions include: operating hours, developing a good neighbor side agreement with the neighborhood; and establishing a 24-hour phone line for neighborhood concerns. The City and MHA will enter into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for an additional 5 years after the conveyance of the property to continue the provisions not covered by Zoning.

“Mental Health America looks forward to serving the Long Beach community at the Long Beach Boulevard facility,” said David Pilon, Ph.D., president and chief executive officer of MHA. “This location will enable our organization to address important community needs by providing healthcare services to some of the most vulnerable members of the community. MHA is also very excited to offer at this new location an expansion of our existing retail café – bakery businesses within a beautifully renovated building with architecture and design that will enhance the neighborhood. We believe that this agreement benefits the entire City in many ways, and MHA’s members, volunteers and staff greatly appreciate those who have supported it along the way.”

The City will pay $2.8 million for the building, and $1.2 million to fund related improvements to design and construct the retail establishment, a community meeting room, and tenant improvements and to provide programming. This item will be heard by the City Council on March 19, 2013.

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