GLCC creates campus for more than 50 nonprofit groups, and organizations
Wilton Manors - The Gay and Lesbian Community Center of South Florida (GLCC) Friday announced the purchase of nearly six acres of property with approximately 30,000 square feet of office space in the heart of Wilton Manors.
The waterfront property, and former site of a telecommunications company, is located at 2040 N. Dixie Highway, about four blocks from Wilton Drive and is tentatively being referred to as “The Campus”. “Numerous buildings comprise the site, bringing incredible opportunities for naming and potential recognition of community leaders and people who each day transform and support our community” reports Ron Ryan, President of the GLCC Board of Directors.
As a milestone in the advancement of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community locally and worldwide, The Campus provides a new home for critical programs and services. The new facility will foster synergy among non-profit organizations serving the LGBT community. This shared “destination” and meeting place for the community further establishes the GLCC of South Florida and Greater Fort Lauderdale as leaders in LGBT unity, diversity and pride.
The June 27, 2008 date the GLCC takes ownership of the property is of “tremendous significance,” said Paul Hyman, GLCC Executive Director. June 27, 1969 was the date of the historic Stonewall Riots in New York. “The Stonewall Riots remain the cornerstone of a liberation movement transforming the oppression of Gays, Lesbians, Bisexual and Transgender people around the world,” Hyman said. “Appropriately, this date now marks our purchase of a campus that will change LGBT history.”
“The Campus is a sound and carefully measured financial investment to meet the GLCC’s strategic initiatives” shares Ryan, who adds, “We will now attain an even greater ability to support cultural events, performing arts, educational programs and spiritual groups which provide for the needs of our community.” The GLCC currently is home to over 50 groups and organizations that meet there each month, and is an enduring resource for the LGBT community.
Last year, the GLCC appointed a building committee tasked with separating the organization from a relationship with Tarragon Corporation, acquiring title to all promised property and obtaining funds due from past agreements. The committee, chaired by GLCC Director Tyler Healis, was also charged with analyzing real estate options leading to the purchase announced today. Significant support was also contributed by the GLCC’s Finance Committee, chaired by Board Treasurer Nicole Mannarino, Partner at Rachlin LLP. Now, the organization has formed an advisory committee of space planners, architects and engineers, chaired by GLCC Founders-level member Jan Carpenter, to make recommendations on the site’s master plan, renovated office space and numerous outbuildings. The committee will also recommend a timetable for moving GLCC operations from the currently leased space on Andrews Avenue. Meanwhile business as usual will continue at the existing GLCC location. Beginning in mid-July, scheduled tours will be announced, so community members will have a chance to see the new property.
Attorney Bill Karney of Moraitis, Cofar, Karney and Moraitis, along with Dale Russell, a GLCC Director and Realtor with Century 21 Hansen Realty, represented the GLCC in the negotiation and closing process at no cost to the organization. All related commissions and fees have been donated back to the GLCC. The announcement was made after a relatively quiet phase of a contract with the previous seller who restricted release of news to only GLCC members and Founders. Now the GLCC broadly thanks the entire community, all its supporters, as well as prestigious lending partner Northern Trust for transforming our community by helping to make “The Campus” a reality. The GLCC also acknowledges lending support that it has received from Sterling Bank.
Hyman concludes, “It is impossible to describe the level of gratitude felt for support received throughout this process. The staff of the GLCC did not waver in their delivery of critical programs to our community, and their focus and determination has been incredible and inspiring. I cannot thank the staff of the GLCC, our countless volunteers, our Board of Directors and committee members and former GLCC leaders adequately in words. It is a proud day for the LGBT community and on behalf of the Board of Directors and staff of the GLCC we extend deep thanks the entire community”.
GLCC Mission Statement
The Gay and Lesbian Community Center of South Florida (GLCCSF) serves the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender community. We provide information, education, advocacy, support, human services, cultural experiences and social opportunities. The center works to foster personal development and quality of life for the entire community. We embrace individuality and diversity, work together, and promote awareness, acceptance, celebration and pride.