Los Angeles Science Fantasy Society members voted at the club’s April 21 meeting to ratify its directors’ decision to sell the current North Hollywood clubhouse and buy another building in Van Nuys. The club has been at the North Hollywood location since 1977.
Marty Cantor, LASFS Board of Directors’ Secretary, has gives a rundown on the decision:
Last night’s meeting was not the first that the other members knew of our sale of the clubhouse. The Board had been consulting with the members about selling the clubhouse since before it happened. Indeed, when the realtor came to us and told us he had a buyer for our clubhouse, we told the members this was happening and that we were negotiating for the best price we could get. And they knew that the clubhouse had been sold — and the conditions where it might not be sold if we did not get a new place — way back in September when it was all happening.
In September of 2010, a real estate agent approached the club and said that he had an offer to purchase the building. We did some dickering and we arrived at a price we would accept for our property. There were some conditions we wanted and the buyer accepted it. Firstly, the prime condition of the sale was that it would go through only if the LASFS could find a building we could buy. Secondly, after we purchased our new building and escrow was completed on both places, the LASFS would have three months to move from our current clubhouse. These were the most important points of our agreement.
The real estate agent, after finding out our requirements, did a fine job of finding places which were candidates for purchase. Most of these places, though, pre-screened by Elayne Pelz, had one or another deal killers. Several months ago our Board of Directors inspected a prospective clubhouse and liked it well enough to make an offer on it. We were unable to come to terms with the owner and we kept looking.
This past Sunday, April 17, 8 members of the Board of Directors met at another prospective clubhouse, inspected it, and decided that it would meet most of the requirements of a new clubhouse. We made an offer on the building, it was accepted, and the initial paper was signed. We have 15 days to back out of the deal (with no penalty) if we decide we have to. Next Tuesday we will have a technical inspection of the building and this will tell us if there are major construction problems with it. In the meantime, the Board requested the club Procedural President to schedule a special programme at the regular April 21 meeting. At this meeting the Board presented to the club members present what was occurring. Below is a précis of this part of the meeting.
The meeting room had standing room only as a lot of members showed up to see our plans. Elayne had some very large blow-up photographs which were displayed in various parts of the room. I had some 8 12 x 11 photographs I put on the Treasurer’s desk and set up my laptop on the food table with a continuing slide-show of the 31 photos I took of our new clubhouse, and the CD of my photos was put into Rob’s computer and selected shots were shown on the large television screen.
Before the meeting started, various board members answered many questions from the members; and, after the meeting started, when we got to new business, Christian McGuire got up, made a few opening remarks, and then turned to a question and answer session where many good and penetrating questions were answered by the appropriate Board members.
Elayne Pelz mentioned that there was another person interested in this new building, so she made an offer of $525,000 for the building, the offer was accepted, and she signed the agreement. We can back out any time up to 15 days from today. In response to a question, Elayne mentioned that our current building was sold for the same price but the Real Estate agent’s cut and other fees will bring us down to $490,000. But we do have money in the Century Fund and there is enough to pay cash with no money-eating interest rate (e.g., no mortgage) and still have money for the initial remodeling work.
After awhile, when it began to appear that we were going over the same ground, member Ed Green moved (and was seconded) that the members accede to the actions of the Board and that the Board keep the members apprised of developments. This motion was passed, unanimously.
We have purchased a new building.
The new building is at the intersection of Aetna and Tyrone in Van Nuys, a block in either direction from the major streets of Van Nuys Blvd. and Oxnard. It’s within walking distance of the Van Nuys station on the Metro Orange Line bus route.
The next clubhouse represents an upgrade for LASFS, says Marty:
We outgrew the current clubhouse many years ago — it is just too small. Plus, it is really falling apart and repairs are getting more and more expensive. I think that the size of our current buildings is a bit above 2100 sq. ft. — the new building is 4400 sq. ft. And is in much better shape than our current place. Many of our library books are in off-site storage: our new library will be about twice the size of what we now have.