International organization to move headquarters

Way to Happiness leads to Exchange
International organization that promotes good living to move headquarters into vacant building.

DOWNTOWN GLENDALE — City officials are happy, and they are hoping for a lot more happiness in the area around The Exchange soon.

In a move that city business development officials see as another way to drum up activity in a struggling business hub, The Way to Happiness Foundation International is relocating its headquarters into a vacant building at 201 E. Broadway. The building is owned by ABLE International, which stands for the Assn. of Better Living and Education. The foundation is an affiliate of ABLE.

The foundation is a nonprofit organization that is based on one book, “The Way to Happiness,” written by L. Ron Hubbard, whose tenets ushered in the Church of Scientology.

Though the foundation adheres to the ideas of the book, its 10 employees and 100 volunteers function independently of the organization, officials said. It promotes morals, values and happy living, and community events such as neighborhood clean-ups and education programs. It is currently based in Hollywood.

“We looked at many different places for a building, but Glendale had a diverse population, which is great for us because we are an international organization,” said Joni Ginsberg, the foundation’s executive director. “Glendale is a very interesting environment. It’s very friendly. It’s clean, it’s safe. It represents a lot of what we’re striving for.”

The two-story, 22,000-square-foot building, built in the 1920s with a basement and mezzanine was also perfect for the organization, she said. The group will publish Hubbard’s books from presses in the basement.

City officials were pleased the organization chose to move to Glendale.

“It is going to provide activity on this corner, which we think will be very good for the area,” Development Services Director Jeanne Armstrong said about the move.

The building is in the area of The Exchange, a retail and restaurant open-air mall anchored by a movie theater. Merchants in the area have lamented a lack of customers.

But already, the foundation is trying to drum up interest with a grand opening scheduled for Oct. 4 with a community festival.

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