Talks on fate of former AMVets building continues

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The fate and future of Culver City’s AMVET’s building was the topic of discussion at a special city council meeting held Tuesday night at the Culver City Senior Center. Over two hundred residents showed up to voice their opinions and perspectives to contribute to the city’s objective of determining the best course of action for the property.

After 40 years at the Culver Boulevard location, the facility has fallen to structural and non-structural deficiencies that are of great concern in the event of an earthquake or fire. As a result, the facility has been vacated since November of 2018.

Representing the City Council members were Thomas Small, Alex Fisch, Daniel Lee, and Mayor Meghan Sahli-Wells.

The tone of the audience and evening was set early on when the first person to speak was Mike Stivers, a Culver City resident who expressed his concern over the ambiguity, vagueness, and lack of clarity of some of the information that was provided. The applause and cheers that followed showed that there were many in the audience that had the same issues with the documents.

There were five representatives whom each gave their presentations and proposals for what could be done with part or all of the lots west of the Wende Museum.  The five proposals were Affordable Housing for Artists, Modular Affordable Housing (a temporary unit), combining the parcels to the west for a larger project, a Wende Community Center that would also house the Mayme Clayton Library and Museum Collection, Veterans Services and Housing.

After the presentations, the reps were each assigned to various tables to which the attendees could join them to discuss details of their projects.  These round table discussions preceded an impromptu poll to which the Wende Community Center proposal received the most votes.  The community center would be a joint venture that would include the Wende Museum, The United States Veterans Artist Alliance, and the Mayme A. Clayton Library—which was evicted from its Overland location on July 31 after thirteen years.

Shortly after the survey, there were some other possible uses that were brought forward for consideration which included a skate park, a dog park, senior affordable housing, social neighborhood use, and improving the existing property. Oddly enough, leaving the property as is was the most popular consensus.

Though the city council’s resolution and vote on the matter will come at a later date there was plenty of conversation and the exchange of information to assist them in making the eventual decision.

Talks on fate of former AMVets building continues