On Monday, the College signed a final agreement with the Richard A. Ruether American Legion Post 152. The organization sold its property, which is located at 117 Latham Street at the end of Spring Street, to the College with the caveat that the Legion be able to lease the first floor of the building for the next two years. The first floor will be used by American Legion members for meetings. The second floor of the building has a full commercial kitchen.
Fred Puddester, treasurer and vice president for finance and administration and treasurer at the College, said the purchase was an unexpected recent acquisition. The College has had a history with the building: In 2002, the College financed its construction as part of a land swap between itself and the American Legion. The land the College acquired was used to construct what is now the ’62 Center for Theatre and Dance.
“A representative, the lawyer for the Legion Post 152, came to us this summer and asked if we were interested in buying,” Puddester said. “We decided we would help them out. Because we are uncertain what we want to do with the building, we were willing to lease out the first floor.”
Although Puddester and the College are currently not sure what the building will be used for, they hope it can help their long-standing project of revitalizing Spring Street. “We have been having many discussions with the board about what we can do to revitalize Spring Street,” Puddester said. “We need to take some time and look at the options.”
One option already in place is the “pop-up” business plan, a plan that tenant Lickety Split has already taken advantage of. Additionally, because the second floor of the American Legion Post 152 building has a complete commercial kitchen, vendors like El Conejo Corredor, the burrito truck that frequented campus last semester, could use the space to cook while still selling out of its truck on Spring Street, as was the case last year. Other culinary groups on campus could also theoretically use the space to cook.
Lastly, Puddester mentioned a third option of letting the Film Festival use the building as a “mini-headquarters” for its festivities later in October.