An era is coming to an end. Northridge Skateland, owned by brothers Dave and Mike Fleming, who also own Mountasia Family Fun Center in Santa Clarita, is closing its doors as a roller rink to help provide interim housing for the increasing homeless population in the San Fernando Valley, Council District 12. The Fleming brothers have issued a statement pertaining to their retirement and desire to leave a community service legacy.
“As we look forward to retirement, our desire is to leave a legacy in honor of our parents, Richard & Loraine, and work with Hope of the Valley to create the finest bridge housing in the San Fernando Valley,” the statement said.
About 18 months ago, Ken Craft, President/CEO of Hope of the Valley Rescue Mission, approached the Flemings with the idea of converting Northridge Skateland into a homeless shelter. The Fleming brothers were not interested at that time. However, with the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions and uncertainty, the Flemings revisited Craft’s suggestion and issued a proposal to the City.
According to council member John Lee of Council District 12, who has embraced the proposal, the district is seeking facilities to provide 6,000 new beds by April and an additional 700 beds by October 2021.
“The proposal was brought to the City by the Fleming family, not the other way around,” Lee said in Monday’s Zoom webinar.
Lee explained that the conversion of Skateland to a Hope of the Valley Rescue Mission would be an interim facility for homeless people until permanent housing could be obtained. The facility would accommodate men, women, and pets, and would also provide storage. Job training and drug rehabilitation would be an intricate part of the program, The site would be operational 365 days a year as a referral program, no walk-in/walk-up admissions. The existing exterior structure would remain while the interior would be renovated with necessary modifications and upgrades for this usage. Low-income condos are not planned for this property.
Northridge Skateland was established in 1958 located on Parthenia Street near Lindley Avenue. From 1968 to the present, the rink was owned by the Fleming Brothers. Many in the skate community are disheartened to hear of the closure stating that Skateland is the only remaining roller rink in all of Los Angeles county.
“Good day for the community, I guess, but unbelievably sad day for the SoCal roller skating community,” said Skateland patron Gabi Laske. “This was arguably the best rink in SoCal.”
This is an end of an era spanning over six decades.
The public can view the full webinar posted to CD12.org and on their FB page later this week, according to Lee. He is also taking questions via email at email@example.com.
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