Cranes, construction trucks and multistory buildings rising slowly out of the ground can be seen peppered through downtown Glendale as several residential and commercial projects get underway. And there’s more on the horizon.
The Broadway Lofts, which includes 208 studio lofts and two-bedroom apartments, has been under construction on the southeast corner of Broadway and Maryland Avenue for several months, with crews recently starting to install windows on the five-story building. Broadway Lofts will also include about 23,000 square feet of commercial space on the ground floor.
“It’s really starting to take shape,” said Philip Lanzafame, chief assistant director of community development for the city.
Nearing completion is the ICIS project, which includes 186 apartments, 14 townhome rentals and 7,500 square feet of commercial space on Colorado Boulevard near the Golden State (5) Freeway. It should open in the early part of next year, Lanzafame said.
Both of the projects — as well as almost all residential development under construction or in the planning stages — are apartments, but they will be built to condominium standards so they can be converted and sold later if the condo market returns.
“That’s better for Glendale,” Lanzafame said. “You get a higher-quality unit.”
Two retail powerhouse projects currently underway are a new Nordstrom store in the Americana at Brand and renovation of the former Mervyn’s space in the Galleria, on the corner of Broadway and Brand Boulevard, for a Bloomingdale’s.
Both projects are slated to be completed in the fall 2013, probably in time for the holiday shopping season.
A new tenant for the current Nordstrom site in the Galleria, which is undergoing its own renovation, has not been announced.
Other commercial projects include Five-Star Cinema, where crews are working at a fast pace to renovate the former Mann 10 Theater Complex in the Exchange, hopefully by the end of the year, Lanzafame said.
Mann’s 2,500 seats are being replaced with 508 large, luxury seats with and tables where patrons can enjoy food and drinks. The new cinema complex will include a restaurant and lounge with a full bar in the former Salo-Salo Grill, which has been gutted for the project.
Next year, there will be two apartment projects under construction between Orange Street and Central Avenue, south of Lexington Drive.
Lex on Orange, which will include 300 apartments in two buildings, is under construction with a massive hole currently dug along Central for the subterranean parking.
The Legendary Towers, with 72 apartment units, eight live-work units and a 1,200-square-foot café, should start construction soon, Lanzafame said. It is located south of the Lex on Orange development.
Another major apartment complex slated to break ground next year will be Brand & Wilson, which will have 238 units and 10,000 square feet of ground-level retail space. It will be built on a lot on the southwest corner of Brand and Wilson that has sat vacant for about 20 years.
Other projects that should break ground in mid-2013 are a 173-room, 11-story Courtyard by Marriott on the northeast corner of Central and Wilson, and Verdugo Gardens, a scaled-down former condo project that will now include 228 apartments on the northeast corner of Central and Doran Street.
In addition, the Triangle project — a 290-apartment development with 37,000 square feet of retail and office space on the ground floor — will start construction next year on a triangular piece of property bordered by Central, Los Feliz Road and San Fernando Road.
There is also an 84-unit apartment building set to start construction soon at 301 N. Central Ave., Lanzafame said.
The City Council will hold a design review hearing today looking at a development that replaces a mixed-use project that was initially approved back in September 2007.
It features a six-story apartment building with 166 units to be built on the southwest corner of Wilson and Orange, where Jo-Ann Fabrics is currently located.
One project that is somewhat up in the air is the Laemmle Lofts, which is slated to have 42 apartments along with a Laemmle theater complex and retail space on the ground floor and expected to be built on the corner of Wilson and Maryland Avenue.
It was originally tied to redevelopment funding to help pay for subterranean parking, but state lawmakers eliminated redevelopment agencies earlier this year. So, Lanzafame said city officials are working with L.A. County and other tax-entity partners to see if they can move the project forward using alternative funds.
Lanzafame said all of these projects are the result of extensive planning by current and past city council members through creation of a downtown specific plan, as well as the city’s redevelopment agency, which helped get private investment rolling.
“Redevelopment was an effective tool that we used, along with some other things,” Lanzafame said.
Follow Mark Kellam on Twitter: @LAMarkKellam