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Downtown Glendale Apts. Approved But Told to Be Less Ugly

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Glendale's apartment boom just keeps on booming: last week the city gave initial approval to a mixed-use development topping out at six stories that would bring 167 more apartments, plus a new CVS, to downtown Glendale. The project would demolish two low-rise commercial buildings and replace them with two U-shaped buildings separated by an alley, but connected via a second-floor pedestrian bridge and underground parking lot. The units are a fairly even spread of studios, one-, and two-bedroom apartments, ranging in size from 500 to 1,100 square feet, and the buildings will include a rooftop deck, business center, concierge, gym, and 303 parking spaces (26 more than required). While the city did approve, there's still a fair bit of ambivalence about the project--one councilmember voted against it out of concerns about overdevelopment, and city staffers wrote in their report that the project from Las Vegas-based Molasky Group of Companies "does not measure up to the quality the city has come to expect of downtown development."

Glendale News-Press reports that one councilmember (who did vote for the project, so as not to jeopardize CVS's provisional tenancy) said it looked like a Days Inn; the architect countered that the "intention is to create a piece of architecture that is more soothing than stimulating, more general than specific, more residential than commercial." There was also no love for the groundfloor common areas in the staff report, which compared the buildings' entryways to elevator lobbies and called the business center nothing more than a diner counter and "completely unusable."

Conditions of the approval include "redesigning the building to reduce the bulk of the building that faces the residential neighborhood to its west, and using actual stone and brick on façade details, not moldings or other simulated materials."
· Tentative approval given for six-story project in Glendale [GNP]
· Staff report (pdf) [Glendale]