Church Group Wants to Start Farmers Market, Other Events at Former Altadena Nursery Site

The new tenant of the old Altadena Nursery site, an outreach branch of a Pasadena-based church, has moved in and began preparing for local community events, such as a farmer's market and other open-air fairs

By Justin Chapman, Altadena Patch, 5/23/2011

Although the plan for the local Grace Community Outreach group to move into the old Altadena Nursery site at 1968 N. Lake Avenue took a little longer than they anticipated, according to one of the church's board members, Arthur Bonner, they have officially moved in and began operations around mid-March.
In November Patch that a branch of the Pasadena-based Grace Community Bible Church, called Grace Community Outreach, plans to use the site as an outreach center and a location for community events, such as a farmer's and/or vendor's market.
Right now they are still working on a contract for the farmer's market and they want to do it at an opportune time for the community. Bonner mentioned Thursdays and Saturdays as the desirable days of the week to host the market. However they haven't decided yet because they are still waiting for the necessary permits from the county.
"We're in the process right now with LA County to get the necessary permits and get everything structured to facilitate the community," said Bonner. "We're shooting for a farmer's market in June. It will probably be the first big event. The farmer's market appeals to a broad spectrum of the community."
Right now the building still looks abandoned: there is no sign on the building advertising the new tenant Grace Community Outreach and there is still fencing around the front of the property.  But Bonner said that they will eventually put up a sign to promote themselves after they receive the county permits. In November, however, Bonner explained to Patch what their goals were.
"What Outreach does is community events," said Bonner. "One of the main things is a farmer's market-style open-air fair, where we have local and non-local businesses set up booths and sell things like green and natural furniture, fruits, vegetables, flowers, natural and hemp clothing, natural incense and candles; that sort of thing. There are also booths for freelance writers and self-publishing, and people from different denominational churches handing out literature."
He said all operations will be held within the boundaries of the property. The purpose of holding these types of events is twofold. It's a way to generate revenue for the Grace Community Bible Church by charging a fee to individual vendors for space for their booths. It's also their way of giving back to the local community.
Previously, Outreach events were held at the Rose Bowl. While most vendors come from all over to participate in Outreach's events, Bonner said they're open to all local vendors.
"That's the intention," he said. "To pull as many individual Altadenans and Altadena businesses who operate in that capacity as possible into our events.
Altadena Nursery had to close up shop late 2009 after it was unable to continue paying rent for six months to the landlord, Balian Investments LLC, owned by local developer Missak Balian. Less than a year later Grace Community Outreach became the new tenant.