by Marty Chakoain
Public comment requested
Most of us value security, especially the security of a stable home, and a stable home can be just as important to organizations as it is to families.
Since 1979, the Greenwood Senior Center (GSC) has provided essential services to the community from its home on N 85th Street. Those services were bolstered with financial and volunteer resources when the GSC became a PNA program in 2006. But the GSC facility—the building and the land it sits on—is actually owned by the City of Seattle. The City has allowed the GSC to operate rent free in exchange for the services it provides, and for taking care of the building.
Now the next step in the evolution of the GSC is about to happen: the City has proposed giving the GSC property to the PNA to own and operate permanently. A letter of agreement, jointly signed by the City’s Department of Finance and Administrative Services and the PNA, lays out the conditions: the City would transfer ownership of the property to the PNA at no cost other than the usual expenses that go with any real estate transaction, such as title insurance. In return, the PNA would commit to continuing to use the facility to deliver social and health services through the Greenwood Senior Center, and perhaps someday add new programs that could serve the community.
The City has notified neighbors and GSC participants about the proposed ownership change. (Read the letter.) There is a short period to submit comments either for or against the “sale.” You can comment by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 206-684-7154.
Final action, which is not expected until later this year, will depend on a signed agreement between the City and the PNA, and formal approval by the City Council and PNA Board.
Even when that happens, not much will change, at least not right away. The Greenwood Senior Center will continue to do all the important things it does, and the PNA will continue to be responsible for the operation, maintenance, and repair of the building, just as it is today.
But longer term, there are two very important benefits from the title transfer.
First, the Greenwood Senior Center can have the security of knowing that it owns its home, and that no landlord—even a great landlord like the City of Seattle—can ever force it to leave.
Second, the PNA can start thinking about long term investments in the property—adding to, remodeling, or possibly even replacing the building sometime in the future to enable the GSC to better serve its community.