Sale of Parkside Plaza to The Center means other changes as well

Ripples from the sale of Parkside Plaza, 3665 Ben Walters Lane, are being noticed around town.

For starters, South Peninsula Behavioral Health Services-The Center purchased the two-story Parkside Plaza from Steve Yoshida.

“We bought it because we have outgrown the current facilities,” said Carla Meitler, SPBHS-The Center’s chief financial officer.

The location proved a good fit with Parkside Plaza near The Center’s current facilities on Ben Walters. It also is near two structures that house Project PRIDE (Promoting Responsibility, Individual Development and Empowerment), a program providing services and support to individuals experiencing developmental disabilities.

“We currently have a two-story duplex we converted into offices and a one-story single-family home that was purchased in the late 1990s or early 2000s,” said Meitler of space used for Project PRIDE. 

“We decided we needed to have a building better suited for providing services and the office space we need.”

Parkside Plaza offers upstairs office space, with room on the main floor for multiple activities. Compared to the space Project PRIDE has been working from, Parkside Plaza’s 5,500 square feet offers plenty of room.

“That’s more than the combined total we have now,” said Meitler of Parkside Plaza’s 5,500 square feet. “There’s a big common room and a common kitchen. It has a conference room so we can have meetings, training space for training employees, and smaller multi-purpose rooms for craft classes and game days, so we can have a couple different things going on at the same time.”

Some construction work will have to be done to accommodate Project PRIDE’s use, but plans call for a move by late spring.

“We came up with our vision of what we want the floor plan to look like. Now that’s being translated into architectural drawings and we’re seeing what mechanical issues we’ll be faced with,” said Meitler.

Project PRIDE has 10 full-time staff and 120 direct service providers that work directly with the project’s 85 consumers ranging in age from small children to the elderly.

“We think with our space plan we have going, we’ll be able to make really good use out of the space and hopefully not grow out of it,” said Meitler.

With Project PRIDE moving in, two of the three tenants in Parkside Plaza have moved or are in the process of moving.

In October, First American Title Insurance Company moved to 265 East Pioneer Ave. Dr. Douglas Lien, a dentist who has been in Parkside Plaza for the past 17 years, is currently in the process of relocating to 345 W. Sterling Highway, Suite 102 A, a building Lien said owner Willie Flyum refers to as “The Mall.”

When Lien’s lease at Parkside Plaza expired about five years ago, he chose not to renew it and was considering relocating. The sale of the building and Project PRIDE’s plans to move into the space stepped up Lien’s search for a new address. The Legislative Information Office’s move in December to the corner of Pioneer Avenue and Bartlett Street offered an opportunity for Lien to take over the LIO’s ground floor suite at The Mall.

Lien and his wife, Carla, are in the process of setting up the new space. Moving a dental office isn’t as simple as hauling chairs and tables, however. X-ray equipment requires trained movers that Lien is bringing down from Anchorage. The Liens are planning to be up and running by mid-January and anticipate this move being a positive one for the practice. 

Lien’s office hours are 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, with someone available to take messages on Monday. For more information or an appointment, call 235-3618.

The third tenant of Parkside Plaza, National Marine Fisheries Service Enforcement Office, will stay put for now according to spokesperson Matt Brown of Juneau. It occupies two offices and has two personnel.

“We have a lease with GSA (General Services Administration) and that’s good through 2015,” said Brown, “We don’t have any plans to move at this time. We certainly don’t have a budget for it, as most don’t. We may examine that as some point, but not right now.”

McKibben Jackinsky can be reached at