Mountain View Voice

News - April 16, 2010

CHAC property swap nearly a done deal

Health council would get new space free and clear

by Andrea Gemmet

It's "99 percent sure" that a plan to trade the Community Health Awareness Council's building on Church Street for a larger building will go through, according to executive director Monique Kane.

Because the deal is still in the works, Kane would not reveal the name of the developer offering the swap, or the exact location of the council's future home. The new building is located on El Camino Real in Mountain View, and is about twice as big as the organization's current home, she said.

"I call it the miracle on El Camino," Kane said. "It's still in Mountain View, and it's pretty close by."

The Community Health Awareness Council (CHAC), which provides counseling and therapy services to children and families in Mountain View, Los Altos and Los Altos Hills, is sorely in need of more space, she said. The nonprofit, founded in 1973, works with local schools and police, as well as offering services at its downtown clinic.

"A lot of us love the building we're in — it's homey and on a wonderful corner with trees — but we've outgrown it," Kane said. "Counseling is our priority. Often, I'll leave my office in the afternoon so people can use it for counseling."

The nonprofit's current building, a former duplex converted by St. Joseph Catholic Church and then sold to CHAC in the mid-1980s, is about 4,700 square feet, said Kane. The new building is more than 8,000 square feet, she said. If everything goes according to plan, CHAC expects to move into its new home in early 2011.

Kane said she was approached by a developer two years ago with the property swap idea, and she brought the proposal to her board of directors. The developer is planning to build a whole new complex that would include CHAC's property and stretch from the first block of Church Street to Castro Street, she said.

CHAC owns the current building free and clear, and would remain mortgage-free with the new building, Kane said. Since nonprofits do not pay property taxes, the only additional expense for the new building would be slightly higher maintenance costs, she said.

Kane said she will be meeting with her advisory committee and community leaders at the end of this month to discuss how to proceed with the trade.

"It's getting there. We don't know all the details yet, but when we've got it, we will definitely have a big announcement," she said.

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