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Downtown Glendale and Montrose Shopping Park report healthy finances

Downtown Glendale and Montrose Shopping Park report healthy finances
A view of downtown Glendale on the 200 block of North Brand Boulevard in Glendale on Tuesday. (Raul Roa / Glendale News-Press)

In separate reports to the Glendale City Council Tuesday, both the Downtown Glendale Assn. and Montrose Shopping Park Assn. presented a recap of strong revenues last year as well as plans for this year.

The Downtown Glendale Assn. is the nonprofit organization that manages the Downtown Community Benefit District, tasked with improving the downtown area by increasing customers and sales as well as decreasing occupancies each year.

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Rick Lemmo, president of the Glendale association's board and vice president with Caruso, said the association is a great example of how the downtown area has reinvented itself during the past few years.

"[There's been a] radical change in retail throughout the country," Lemmo said. "We at DGA understand that downtown Glendale must become a place that people think of first as a desirable destination to visit … and [become] more than just a traditional shopping area."

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The association, which operates independent of city funds, reported slightly more than $1 million in revenues last year, with expenses at about $900,000. The association is paid for by property owners in the district.

A majority of the expenses went toward sidewalk "operations" and landscaping. About $200,000 was spent on marketing and "district identity," often in public spaces, and the remaining expenses were for administration and reserves.

Downtown also saw the addition of about 20 new businesses last fiscal year, which include the third Eggslut in Los Angeles County, the Antaeus Theatre on Broadway and Halal Guys on Brand Boulevard.

The Downtown Community Benefit District currently encompasses Brand Boulevard from Colorado Street to the south to Frontage Road/Sanchez Drive to the north. According to Lemmo and a city staff report, the Downtown Glendale Assn. plans to reach out to offices, hotels and property owners north of the Ventura (134) Freeway for talks about expanding the district.

The organization's proposed 2018 budget of just over $1 million in revenues was approved by council.

Honolulu Avenue welcomes shoppers in Montrose.
Honolulu Avenue welcomes shoppers in Montrose. (Raul Roa / Glendale News-Press)

Also at the meeting, the Montrose Shopping Park Assn., the nonprofit that manages the Montrose Business Improvement District — which includes more than 200 businesses — reported about $470,000 in net income and roughly $478,000 in expenses. The difference was accounted for by dipping into a reserve of about $122,000 the association maintains.

The association requested a $495,000 budget this year and was approved by council.

Dale Dawson, business administrator for the shopping park, attributed much of the area's success to annual events such as the Montrose Spring Wine Walk and the Montrose Arts & Crafts Festival as well as participation by the Montrose association's six board members.

"The involvement at the board level has really been a plus for us," Dawson said.

Councilmen Zareh Sinanyan praised the district during the meeting.

"Honolulu Avenue looks just as nice [as downtown] and is just as special," he said. "It's very different … but an amazing part of Glendale."

Twitter: @JeffLanda

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