PICO BOULEVARD — Santa Monica College has entered into an agreement with WISE & Healthy Aging to buy the nonprofit senior service provider’s Pico Boulevard property for approximately $4 million, school officials confirmed.

The building, at 1510 Pico Blvd., will be used for “swing space” for office workers and administration staff displaced by construction on the main campus, at least at first, said Greg Brown, SMC’s director of facility planning.

“After that, it hasn’t been master planned yet,” Brown said.

The acquisition will give SMC control over the majority of the block. The school also owns a corner parcel, which serves as a parking lot, and a building on the other side used for the SMC Foundation office.

Although officials are always on the lookout for good pieces of property near the campus, no one expected this piece, which connects the other two buildings, to go on the market so early, Brown said.

Representatives from WISE & Healthy Aging approached school officials with the offer in late 2010, Brown said.

According to Grace Cheng Braun, president and CEO of WISE & Healthy Aging, the sale represents another part of the process of integrating WISE Senior Services and the Center for Aging by consolidating space.

The two groups merged three years ago to create a single entity focused on providing services and support to seniors, their family members and caregivers.

It will not mean a reduction of service to seniors, Braun said, because the same programs now provided at the Pico location will be offered at the main offices on the second and third floors of the Ken Edwards Center in Downtown.

The Pico building hosts adult day services, where seniors socialize and participate in enrichment activities during the daytime to give a break to friends and caregivers.

“We thought it best to further streamline,” Braun said.

The $4 million deal is in escrow until May 15.

It will be paid for using Measure AA bond money, Brown said.

AA, a $295 million bond measure passed by voters in 2008, focused on renovating or replacing old facilities that don’t meet modern building and safety standards, or which can’t be adapted for newer technology.

It is part of the third phase of the SMC master plan, which was approved in 1998.

Projects covered by Measure AA include new math and science wings, career center, moving KCRW to the SMC academy campus, replacement of the Corsair Stadium, a new bus pull-out shelter on Pico Boulevard and community classroom joint-use projects.


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