Lancaster unveils BLVD kiosks

Lancaster Vice Mayor Ron Smith stands in front of the prototype for the new BLVD kiosks.

Rent for the new kiosks will start at around $500 a month, said InSite partner Scott Ehrlich.

LANCASTER – Local entrepreneurs now have a low-cost option for launching their dream businesses – right on The BLVD!

The City of Lancaster and private partner InSite Development Tuesday unveiled the Start Small Incubator Program, an initiative that allows aspiring entrepreneurs to launch their business ventures on The BLVD with free-standing kiosks.

“This is a great day for small business people,” said Lancaster Vice Mayor Ron Smith.

Smith said the Start Small Incubator Program will benefit talented business owners who lack the resources needed to start a brick-and-mortar store.

Council Member Sandra Johnson speaks at the press conference to unveil the new BLVD kiosks.

“This allows them, for a small amount of money, to be able to get in and maybe start their dream…” Smith said. “If they are successful and they start building it, they can actually move from one of these kiosks into actually owning their own building.”

The City has designated 32 spaces as potential kiosk locations throughout The BLVD. The spaces are located primarily on the median, with additional spaces along some sidewalks and red curbs, according to a City news release.

No parking spaces will be removed, the release states.

“This is a great, great way for people that have that entrepreneurial mind, that passion, that purpose of making something happen in their lives and in our community, to start with these kiosks,” said Lancaster Council Member Sandra Johnson. “I’m looking forward to being a big part of helping [to] rent out these kiosks so that these people’s dreams can come true.”

At a press conference Tuesday, officials unveiled the prototype for the new kiosks.

“This prototype is the first of many that will line the main center of The Blvd,” said Wah Chen, of InSite Development. “The local kiosks will give entrepreneurs an affordable option to launch their dream business in 500 to 700 square feet of space.”

(L to R) Sandra Johnson, Ron Smith, Wah Chen and Steve Eglash of InSite Development.

The first of the kiosks will be installed in the center strip, near the intersection of Fig Avenue and The BLVD. Entrepreneurs will be selected for these kiosks within the next few days and will begin operating their new businesses in about two months, according to the City news release. Around 15 tenants are on a waiting list to launch a variety of retail businesses, as the kiosks are manufactured. Additional tenants are being sought.

At Tuesday’s press conference, the City picked up another interested tenant. Lancaster residents Andrew and Keisha Como were driving by and stopped to inquire when they saw the new kiosk.

“It looks attractive, like somebody could walk up to it and feel comfortable to purchase something,” Andrew Como said. “I really like the design because it’s not too small and crammed in, it’s a good size.”

Andrew Como got information from InSite representatives and said he would be applying to open up a business in one of the new kiosks.

Those interested in participating in the Start Small Incubator Program may contact InSite Development at 818-789-5550.

  46 comments for “Lancaster unveils BLVD kiosks

  1. Jerome
    May 18, 2012 at 11:48 am

    Amen! I would like to hear him either admit it or deny it. Voters got a right to know.

  2. Craig
    May 18, 2012 at 6:55 am

    If Ron Smith is getting a stress disability then he shoulds not be in the assembly. There are enough nuts there already. He does fit in well with the Lancaster council since they’re all nuts as well.

  3. Allen
    May 17, 2012 at 4:04 pm

    Ron Smith should get get the first one so he can sell himself for votes and contributions.

    • William
      May 17, 2012 at 5:21 pm

      Smith should install himself in a dunking booth. If you hit the target with a ball, he drops into the drink. I’d pay for that.

  4. Justice Callout
    May 16, 2012 at 8:50 pm

    Poor Rex. His taxpayer paid folly is coming home to roost. Now kiosks compliments of Ehrlich. Next is paid meters for parking and porta potees. Got to make a buck somehow.

  5. CKAY
    May 16, 2012 at 8:41 pm

    Scott, the Boulevard to nowhere would be an improvement if it looked like Tiajuana. Tiajuana at the very least has people walking around.

  6. William
    May 16, 2012 at 7:42 pm

    Where, oh, where are all the people strolling the ‘ramblas’ in the photo with Smith and the second one with the kiosk? Did they clear the sidewalks for the photos?

    Oh, that’s right. It’s busy between 6:47PM and 8:11PM on Tuesdays and Fridays.

    • Scott Pelka
      May 16, 2012 at 8:24 pm

      Its gonna look like Tijuana.

      • William
        May 16, 2012 at 10:19 pm

        If only.

  7. Sherry
    May 16, 2012 at 6:47 pm

    where are they going to pee?

    • J. Ripper
      May 17, 2012 at 2:08 pm


  8. CKAY
    May 16, 2012 at 5:16 pm

    Lipstick on a pig is good analogy. Kudos to who thought of it. The Boulevard to nowhere was a failed experiment at tax payers expense and will remain so.

    • William
      May 16, 2012 at 5:59 pm

      B-b-but, there are bird songs coming out of the speakers. With all the trees planted on the BLVD, how come there aren’t real birds in them singing?

  9. Hannah
    May 16, 2012 at 10:06 am

    How will tagging be handled? These things are just begging for it.

  10. Adam Chant
    May 16, 2012 at 9:57 am

    To be honest I like the idea of kiosks on the BLVD, but I’m VERY leery of how they will be implemented and policed.

    Just a few questions I have that come to mind and have been expressed by others:
    1. Where will they each be located at and how will that impact:
    – a. pedestrian traffic
    – b. vehicle traffic
    – c. other businesses traffic
    2. Will they encroach on other businesses line of sight or inhibit ingress/egress.
    3. Can a smaller start-up effectively open up and undermine the success of another business in the area?
    4. Will they cause pedestrian traffic to ignore vehicle traffic and potentially cause accidents?
    5. Will moronic and gimmick based merchandise be available at these locations?
    6. Will employees of these kiosks be required to maintain a specific uniform?
    7. Will the employees of these kiosks be required to follow a set of rules for where and how they can merchandise their business?
    8. What will be the hours of these businesses and will it be regulated?
    9. Who will be available on site to address customer and business concerns when matters are not being handled in a professional way?
    10. Are public facilities available for these people to meet labor, health and safety laws?

    It’s one thing to have kiosks on private property like at the mall where they are easily managed by a commercial entity that defines an enforceable code of conduct, but how can that same type of enforcement be applied to individual business owners on a public right of way?
    I know that InSite Development has considered all of the issues above and made accommodations for the public and business owners alike. This isn’t the first rodeo for Insite Development and it would be ignorant to think that they wouldn’t have considered these details seeing as how they are a major development company with similar downtown developments like this in other parts of So Cali.

    I just don’t see how R.C. aircraft, hand lotion and balance bracelets will be that easy of a sell on the BLVD unless each business takes to guerrilla tactics that are otherwise unacceptable and will not be appreciated by the rest of the BLVD. It’s already annoying enough having to deal with the panhandlers and transients that happen by. Now there will be pants on the ground merchants asking every pedestrian “Do you want to try some lotion?” or “I can clean your shoes?” or even “Do you have cable?” Not something I’m looking forward to, but I will not race to judgement on the matter unless it proves to be an issue.

    It’s one thing to just blanket bash the Council, the BLVD and even Lancaster, but put some effort into your words or don’t bother. Either you care and your input is appreciated as it will make the community better for all or you are just a TROLL and no one (reads/listens/takes you serious) anyway.

    • William
      May 16, 2012 at 10:33 am

      Very well thought out comment, Adam. But, it highlights what seems to be a not very well thought out project. Were kiosks, a roundabout, horse-drawn carriages, parking meters and other ideas included in the original plans? It just seems like once they built it, they are still trying to figure out how to make it work with afterthoughts, throwing everthing at the wall to see what sticks.

      If kiosks were part of the original plan, why weren’t they installed a year ago? The pedestrian traffic could be a real problem with the potential for accidents. Sometimes there is a steady stream of cars and a crowd around a kiosk in the median might end up with people stepping back into traffic, unless there are railings around part of the kiosks to contain them. Of course, Nicole won’t have any solutions.

      It’s been interesting how many ‘improvements’ bring about additional problems with them, such as with the horse-drawn carriages, parking meters, and now the kiosks. ‘Improvements’ shouldn’t add problems.

      • Adam Chant
        May 16, 2012 at 11:32 am

        For the record the horse drawn carriage was something proposed by a private business to the city of Lancaster. Sweetwater Ranch had an idea, looked into it and proposed to have the ordinance related to taxi services modified to accommodate horse drawn carriages. Everyone went up in arms over the whole matter and totally ignored the fact that it’s already legal to have horse drawn carriages on the BLVD and it was a private business being attacked and not the city. They are still providing transportation for people on and around the BLVD certain nights of the week for free as is legal and accepting donations for the local 4H clubs.

        Have you ever started a business, been involved in a major project or just driven from one location to another? In each case these processes require a certain level of planning. While it’s easy to plan for known conditions, it’s not always as easy to plan for what may come down the road. This holds true in both driving to L.A. and running a business. Not every situation you are faced with will be planed for, but through risk assessment studies and projective analysis most good and bad future events can be addressed in one way or another.
        In the case of the BLVD and the AV as a whole most of what is being done is part of the General Plan and/or downtown specific plan. These documents are available to the public and discuss many of the steps to be conducted over the next 30 years. They also consider projections that deal with both positive and negative changes in the community and how to manage it.

        Parking meters keeps getting called out because the fact of the matter is IF in 5 or 10 years there is the traffic and need for them a plan will already be in place to implement a solution. Managed parking could be implemented today and provide the public with a clear view of available spots, but that doesn’t require fee based meters to implement.

        Also as business progresses some plans that are just conceptualized are better defined and implemented to accommodate the change in environment. This is necessary for business to succeed and something that so far the BLVD businesses have been relatively successful at doing. FOR EXAMPLE: King Photo Supply is not gone, they are just called ECellar now and focus on retail sales of merchandise on eBay. They are not only the most experienced photo retailer in the A.V. Still, but one of the best eBay retailers around.
        There are just too many half thought out trolling comments made from too many people in this community. Most of them are so stupid that everyone that knows just laughs and let’s it go by, but some are so often that even stupid gets accepted as fact. There are people within the city that can be contact about these issues and are willing to discuss them to the point of meeting with concerned citizens, but it’s just easier for of you to just sit at home and send another email letter to the A.V. Press or post on a blog than to actually pick up a phone, or go out and do some actual gumshoe detective work and find out what is REALLY going on in our community.
        Bitching is not getting involved. Providing honest and informed feedback along with potential solutions is the just the first step in the process.

        • William
          May 16, 2012 at 3:30 pm

          Adam, you wrote “There are just too many half thought out trolling comments made from too many people in this community.”

          The thing is, these ‘people’ are residents of the Antelope Valley and potential users and customers of the BLVD or many other places. If they are complaining, it might be useful to listen.

          You have to admit, there has been a large degree of arrogance coming from Parris and HIS council. A project such as the BLVD should be ‘user friendly’ and much of the complaints are that it isn’t and the kiosk idea sounds it isn’t either. You even pointed out the potential problems. There is a sense that the city leaders are just making it up as they go along.

          Although it’s a totally different type of development, I have recently driven out to 47th East in Palmdale and was amazed at all the new businesses BUT the road has been widened and turn lanes all over the place. It sure looks like it has been well thought out beforehand and I haven’t heard any complaints in the local media. In fact, back in the 90s, there were complaints that everything was on the west side and people on the east side wanted more retail. Now, they have it. Plus, I’m sure if one of the shopping centers were to put in kiosks (unlikely) people wouldn’t mock them cause there is room for them and they wouldn’t be a source of problems.

    • J. Ripper
      May 17, 2012 at 2:10 pm

      Adamn, of COURSE “moronic and gimmick based merchandise” will be available. That’s what’s sold at kiosks.

  11. Allan
    May 16, 2012 at 9:52 am

    Ron “I pretend I was a deputy but really a baliff” Smith looks like he waited too long to take a dump at a porta-potty. Check your shorts Ronny, it’s Van Nuys all over again. Care to explain why you left the LASD?

    • Nicole Dawson
      May 16, 2012 at 9:58 am

      I think comments like these should be banned. They are cheap shots, juvenile, and serve no purpose in advancing a discussion forward. Rudeness should not be tolerated here. I am going to recommend this to the folks who run this website.

      • LilAnn
        May 16, 2012 at 12:39 pm

        As Rom Smith seeks higher office where character is the issue, it would be nice to know the circumstances under which he left the LASD particularly since he boasts of this affiliatioon as part of his resume for becoming an Assemblyman. OF course he is not obligated to disclose anything.

        • Nicole Dawson
          May 16, 2012 at 12:48 pm

          If you want to know Ron Smith’s business, try asking him. He is very approachable. But making childish potty jokes about a respected City official is not the way to get information, if this is what you seek. I have never had a problem with having my questions answered by any member of the council. I treat them the way I want to be treated and my courtesy is always returned.
          And William, they have plenty of crosswalks up and down The BLVD for pedestrians to get to and from the median. There is no need for me to be the crossing guard there.

          • LilAnn
            May 16, 2012 at 12:58 pm

            He won’t answer. The fact his premature departure from the LASD has been bantered about for quite some time would suggest he would put an end to the stories surrounding the incident that occurred at the Van Nuys court house. He never did and never will. He relies on loyal dupes like you to support him and run interfearence.

          • Scott Pelka
            May 16, 2012 at 3:12 pm

            Sure he wont answer… The truth hurts too much. See Ron run away.

          • William
            May 16, 2012 at 3:33 pm

            Are you serious, Nicole. Do you really think people who park in the median thread their way between parked cars and trucks to get to a crosswalk or do they simply walk to the sidewalk from wherever they’ve parked?

          • Marissa
            May 17, 2012 at 5:21 pm

            I think a lot of people would like to see that question answered, and hear if he is or is not still receiving “stress” related disability payments from the taxpayers?
            Or how he justifies both him and his son calling Dixie Eliopulus insane in public, or laughing about the punks who vandalized her house.
            Ron Smith is not a “nice guy” or “approachable”. Nice guys don’t design hit mail that is dishonest, and lie about it in the newspaper. “nice guys” don’t insinuate that innocent people are child molesters, or wife beaters, or members of the mafia because they have Italian last names.
            Nice, approachable men don’t harass senior citizens, sell council votes to developers, or pretend to have been street cops if they closest they ever got was an air conditioned court house.
            Ron Smith is the biggest phoney to ever hit local politics, and his kid, who I went to high school with, is a skin head, racist punk.

          • Allen
            May 17, 2012 at 10:01 pm

            Few cops retire in as few years as Ron Smith “served” as the deputy he claims to have been. The only way out is a disability. Smith went out early presumably after the Van Nuys court room incident. Since he wasn’t injured the presumed alternative is a stress disability. What is bothersome is he calls himself a former deputy. He was a county marshal when the LASD took over the court baliff system and he probably never spent a minute on the street or in the jail system. My problem with hi is he is stealing the honor of real deputies. My other problem is will not address whether he went out on a stress disability. Vote for Tom Lackey. At leeast he is a real cop.

  12. Nicole Dawson
    May 15, 2012 at 8:47 pm

    As predicted,the same naysayers thrashing positive change, time and time again. But luckily these negative nellies are not the ones making the rules because kiosks on the BLVD is a FANTASTIC idea!!!
    I forwarded this story to my friend who designs jewelry by hand (her stuff is fabulous!) because I have been after her to make the jump from selling online to opening a store. She always said she couldn’t afford it. Well looky here, this opens up an opportunity for her, and she so deserves it. In case, anyone involved in making the BLVD kiosks a reality is reading this: THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!

    • William
      May 15, 2012 at 10:06 pm

      This one’s for you, Nicole. As it the BLVD isn’t an annoying enough crawl in car, now pedestrians will be stepping out more often to visit the kiosks. Maybe you can be a crossing guard. Yeah. Donate your time.

    • Stinger
      May 15, 2012 at 10:58 pm

      At $500 a month for a hotbox in the sun, my bet is that she STILL can’t afford it!

  13. LilAnne
    May 15, 2012 at 7:25 pm

    More lipstick on a pig. “Deputy” Smith adds adds the right amount of credibilty. Keep smiling loser.

    • William
      May 15, 2012 at 8:28 pm

      Lipstick on a Ron Smith. Boy, is he creepy. I got his mailer the other day and it went right into the trash. I didn’t want to bring it into the house.

      • Scott Pelka
        May 15, 2012 at 8:59 pm

        I thought it was a port-a-potty at first… Then I noticed it didn’t have a Andy Gump logo. Maybe we will see someone selling a bunch of Anti Rex tee-shirts, or buttons. Maybe Arrow appliance could get one and sell on the blvd. again. So sad.

        • Tim
          May 15, 2012 at 9:18 pm

          Wait? You thought that was a Portable toilet? how STUPID are you? You Obviously don’t get out very much, do ya? Ever been to LA Live downtown, the Grove in LA or the Americana in Glendale? How about the Valencia town center? C’mon man!!!! You have to be pretty damn dumb to mistake that for a portable toilet!

          Yeah, Ron’s a douchebag and I can’t stand him either but GET REAL!

          • Sherry
            May 16, 2012 at 9:37 am

            Most of the places you mention are in nice wheather areas i don’t believe they get the hot and cold extreams that we do in Lancaster, not to mention the wind, but they might work on the late summer evenings when the wheather cools down.

        • mike
          May 15, 2012 at 9:22 pm

          if scott went somewhere besides the Buffet on discount day maybe he would know what it was.

          • Scott Pelka
            May 15, 2012 at 10:08 pm

            Sorry… don’t eat in buffets. Esp. don’t eat on the Blvd. Its all for you Mike, If that’s your real name.

        • William
          May 15, 2012 at 10:02 pm

          Are they gonna air condition them in July and August so people won’t die in there? And, they’re painted a darker color too.

          • Scott Pelka
            May 15, 2012 at 10:14 pm

            People don’t sit in them… Not enough room. As far as Tim’s remark you can’t tell humor I guess. I have been to many events and feel there is a proper place for this kind of merchandizing. All they want to do in Lancaster is make money for a selected few landowners and no one else. Get real and get a life.

          • William
            May 16, 2012 at 3:36 pm

            If people aren’t in them, will they stand out in the afternoon sun in August all day? I guess they’ll have to put umbrellas up or something. Of course, it’s still 1000 degrees in the shade in August.

          • Scott Pelka
            May 16, 2012 at 4:18 pm

            Hey… its almost 100 today and its still the middle of may. And bathrooms for the outside vendors… How do they get breaks. And I am sure the city will try and fine them if they didn’t happen to open on a certain day or gets bitten by a snake, or a drunken customer from one of the many restaurants that serve alcohol. will the city put up misters to keep everyone cool. Then you have lots of mineral spotting on peoples car finishes. And if Erlich is charging 500 bucks rent each isn’t the center median city property… Who is responsible for liability if something happens or did the city will the property over to Erlich. It just all stinks.

          • William
            May 16, 2012 at 4:46 pm

            Scott, for a moment, misters sounded good but as you pointed, they’ll leave minerals on the cars plus, the WIND.

          • Adam Chant
            May 16, 2012 at 6:05 pm

            Actually filtered water would not only prevent spotting, but it would also keep the misters from clogging up. As far as I remember seeing both misters and portable heaters are already integrated into the upgraded storefronts of many of the businesses on the BLVD.
            Though I already pointed out the issues with public facilities I have to be fair and say that the ForgeTheater building is an InSite business and has restrooms, snack bar and other public facilities for kiosk businesses to probably use.

          • Scott Pelka
            May 16, 2012 at 6:47 pm

            Adam… filters do not remove mineral buildup. Anything used to keep the mineral content from clogging nozzles I wouldn’t want sprayed on my paint on my car. and you still haven’t said why erlich charges rent for kiosks that are placed on city property. and who is paying for electricity used from the light poles for the stands.

  14. RunawayBailiff
    May 15, 2012 at 4:51 pm

    oooo, a camera better jump in front

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