Right off the bat you might well ask, “So what in the world is the MSPA?” It’s an acronym for the Montrose Shopping Park Association, formed way back in 1968 for the purpose of representing the interests of the then “newly created” Montrose Shopping Park. The Shopping Park is a B.I.D. (another acronym meaning Business Improvement District) and is one of the oldest in the state of California and the first in the City of Glendale. Each merchant pays an annual assessment tax to the City of Glendale. The City in turn gives the money back to the MSPA to promote the Shopping Park in order to make it a place that attracts customers.
The MSPA board of directors is made up of business owners and managers within the Shopping Park. I like to call it a “labor of love” because all of the board members are volunteers. I can assure you that every board member has a “full plate” running their own business, and yet they take time to give of themselves in order to enhance the Shopping Park and, in turn, the surrounding community. The purchase and installation of the Montrose town clock, the plaque commemorating National Flag Week, the historic streetlights (taken from the original molds of decades ago), our new sidewalks and recent planting and landscaping are just a few of the recent projects the MSPA has brought about through its partnership with the City of Glendale. All of these things take plenty of time and effort. They don’t “just happen.”
Did you know that the MSPA pays 100% of the rent and utilities for our local COPPS station to help keep everyone safe? In addition, MSPA pays for the maintenance of the Vietnam War Memorial, the first such memorial in the nation. But the Shopping Park is perhaps best known for the many wonderful outdoor events it sponsors such as “Old Town Christmas” with all the beautiful lights and holiday activities, the annual “Arts & Crafts Festival,” the weekly “Harvest Market,” the “Classic Car & Hot Rod Show,” and the very popular “Halloween Spooktacular,” to name just a few. All of these activities, even these weekly articles for our local newspaper, require the time and energy of the many MSPA volunteers who love this town just like you do!
At Sunday’s Classic Car & Hot Rod Show, a local resident dining at one of our outdoor cafes got up, walked over to us and gave us a ‘thank you’ for the service we provide to the Montrose community. That was a very simple gesture but it meant so very much. So if you see one of the MSPA’s volunteer corps around town, say ‘hello’ and maybe even ‘thanks.’ You know them as Alyce Russell (Ocean View Bistro, Andersen’s Pets), Maureen Palacios (Once Upon A Time Bookstore), Danny Pranata (Honolulu Wood & Things), Vito Cannella (Montrose Barber Shop) and our newest board member Jake Menachian (Critters & La Perla Design Gallery). Be sure to check out pix of the well-attended and enjoyable July 4th event on our blog at www.shopmontrose.com. You may see folks you know! Thanks for reading – see you next week!
Life in the MSPA
Mary Dawson owns Revelation Tops with her sister Carole, and serves as vice president of the Montrose Shopping Park Assn.