City of Glendale sees rise in sales tax revenue

Sales tax revenue generated by Downtown Glendale's biggest shopping centers increased by nearly $1 million in the past five years, something city officials attribute to a series of openings by sought-after restaurants and stores.

In 2013, the Americana at Brand, the Glendale Galleria, the Glendale Marketplace and merchants along Brand Boulevard churned out $2.42 million compared to $1.72 million in 2009, according to a report by the city's economic development department.

That's also up from $2.18 million in earnings in 2012, the report read.

Throw in revenue from businesses on Maryland and Central avenues, the downtown area accounted for 35% of the $27.3 million made in sales tax for the city last year, said Sharon Garrett, a principal economic development officer.

She pointed the opening of the Bloomingdales at the Galleria, the new Nordstrom, Marshall's replacing the former Borders Bookstore and dumpling house Din Tai Fung opening at the Americana as driving factors for the revenue increase.

"We believe these destination retailers have enlarged Glendale's trade area and that people are shopping in Glendale who were not shopping here before," Garrett said.

She added there's no specific prediction for how sales tax revenue would be generated this year, but that there wouldn't be a shortage of more and more new storefronts coming to the area.

"While we are not in the position to foretell what the economy will bring, all indications to us are that Glendale will strengthen further as a trade area," Garrett said. "New stores slated for downtown include DSW Shoes, Zara, Uniqlo, Buffalo Wild Wings, the Guppy House and an interesting lineup of restaurants."

The 1% sales tax the city collects from local transactions all go toward Glendale's general fund, she added.

Glendale City Councilwoman Laura Friedman said the multiunit development boom in downtown has also brought a new batch of residents to the area, triggering another factory in boosting sales tax revenue.

"Bringing housing into our downtown has brought more people to shop at those establishments," she said.

Looking ahead, she thought the development boom will slow and that more focus should be put on stepping away from the heart of downtown and bringing more storefronts to other downtown streets.

As an example, she said she would like to find long-term tenants who would have success at older shopping centers like the Exchange.

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