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Mountain View on the Move

CHAC land swap proves win-win


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Shohreh Malek of MPM Corp., right, and Ginny Dolan, president of the Community Health Awareness Council’s board, sign a building-swap agreement that affords CHAC more space. Ellie Van Houtte/ Town Crier

The Malek family of Mountain View wanted to develop and expand their property. Their neighbor, the Community Health Awareness Council (CHAC), wanted more space but worried about the affordability of new facilities. Enter CHAC board member Bruce Barsi, who suggested a building swap.

CHAC officials and the Maleks last week signed documents to make it official: CHAC will swap its 3,408-square-foot building at 711 Church St. for a 7,330-square-foot office building at 590 W. El Camino Real, more than doubling its office space. The Maleks purchased the building specifically for the swap after CHAC leaders expressed a desire for a building close to their old headquarters.

“I just can’t thank you enough,” Barsi told the Maleks, represented by three family members at the Feb. 4 swap agreement signing in front of CHAC’s new home.

CHAC employees, who officially assume ownership of the building in April, are eyeing a July occupancy.

“We really needed the space, and here it came,” said Monique Kane, CHAC’s longtime executive director. “It’s a new era for CHAC.”

The nonprofit counseling organization, which has helped at-risk youth and their families since 1973, has been growing rapidly in terms of clients, interns, employees and counseling hours. The annual number of clients has increased from 1,844 in 2002 to 11,720 in 2012. Hours of service rose from 21,868 hours to 50,881, according to CHAC records. The number of paid staff and counseling interns has expanded from 74 in 2002 to 122 in 2012.

Despite the swap and employees’ joy at the “Miracle on El Camino,” as Kane dubbed it, a big challenge remains: CHAC must raise the $187,620 needed for upgrades to prepare the new building for occupancy. Officials are appealing to the community for donations to make it happen.

The swap is a win-win. For the Maleks and their firm, MPM Corp., it means developing a large corner property into a multiuse complex that faces Castro Street in downtown Mountain View.

“Our property was so essential and valuable to their entire development project that they agreed to swap deeds with a property they own and will provide an additional $10,000 to assist in our moving expenses,” Kane and Ginny Dolan, president of CHAC’s board of directors, noted in a press release.

Shohreh Malek, with her daughters Mitra and Nina in attendance, said she was “excited” about making the swap and helping CHAC in the process.

For more information on CHAC, visit www.chacmv.org.

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