The former Kmart store in Glassell Park has seen a lot of change since Goodwill Southern California announced last year that it was going to transform the long-vacant building into a combination job training, community services and retail center. Trees have been planted in the once barren parking lot and workers are preparing the interior of the 135,000-square-foot building on San Fernando Road for a May grand opening of what’s called a Community Enrichment Center.
The nonprofit said that 60 new jobs will be created by the opening of the facility, with about 40 of those jobs devoted to a store, clearance center and Café G, a restaurant that will offer job training. “The center was developed to address the unique needs of this community,” said Craig Smith, president of Goodwill Southern California, in a press release. “The combination of jobs created combined with the no cost career counseling and placement services we offer will have a significant and very positive impact on the area.”
The closure of the Kmart store in 2004 prompted a tug-of-war over the nearly 10-acre property between community groups and Home Depot, which wanted to open a new store at the location. Home Depot gave up the fight in 2007 after the city imposed design guidelines on the area that called for a mix of uses instead of big-box stores.