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Sunday, September 21, 2014

Former Glassell Park Kmart preparing for its debut as a Goodwill resource and retail center

Former Glassell Park Kmart being remade into a Goodwill Community Enrichment Center | Goodwill Southern California

Building pictured in July 2013

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.

10 comments

  1. a great example of how government intervention stifles economic growth. they prevent home depot from opening a much needed store which would employ several hundred people, in favor of a “community enrichment center,” which will provide 40 jobs.

    • Was it really much needed when there are two other Home Depots less than 3 miles away?

    • There are plenty of hardware related stores on San Fernando Rd including two Home Depot’s, two miles in either direction from that location.

    • I remember that debacle. The suspicion was that Home Depot wanted to open this store so that it could close the ones in Cypress Park and Glendale.

    • Bill,

      This center is meant to be similar to the one on Avenue 19, if I remember correctly, where it is also a Goodwill Community Enrichment Center that’s purpose is job placement and career counseling. If you read the entire article above you’d see it says the following:

      “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.”

      Meaning that the purpose of is that they are going to try their best to assist community folks find permanent employment. An ex’s younger niece went to the Goodwill spot on Ave 19, went from being a knuckle head tagger to working full time and keeping his job years later. A mother who’s son I worked with in Highland Park in a gang prevention program, she obtained a job at the Goodwill Enrichment Center where she still works. Her family doesn’t have to worry about bills anymore.

      This is what Northeast LA needs.

  2. Definitely glad it is NOT yet another same-as-every-other-Home Depot. Wish we could have gotten more, though.

  3. You bitched and moaned about a Home Depot. Now you get a Goodwill super center. Kudos! How klassy.

  4. Super excited about it opening soon.
    Like mentioned above me, I too feel like this is what NELA needs.

    Can we please get a gym here too.
    Too many kids running around here with their bellies sticking past their toes!

  5. I am THRILLED for the Goodwill. I spoke with a fellow who works at the Glendale/Eagle Rock Goodwill and he says the target date for opening of this San Fernando Store is April 1. I plan to be there with bags to be donated and cash to buy. Today, as I drove by, I saw there was new fresh blue paint on it. Yay!

  6. I agree that The Home Depot was not needed because there is another The Home Depot near Ave. 26/San Fernando Rds/Figeroa, HOWEVER I also “thought” that this was a free country. Nobody had any right to basically force The Home Depot to withdraw, and our government had absolutly no right in 2007 to say “NO to a big box store, it must be a mixed use” when The Home Depot was not denied in 2005 to open a big box store. Same issue with the Sunland – Tujunga ex-Kmart (which is still empty today to the best of my knowledge) and the same CRAP in Burbank with the “NO WAL-MART at Empire center” which was a Great Indoors store and empty now for 3 years now. ((P.S. I miss the good old Kmart stores, the submarine sandwiches and the cherry icee and torquoise “MART”

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