Bond Sale Approved for Parking Lot Project

Times Staff Writer

Glendale officials this week voted to issue $6.5 million to $10 million in revenue bonds to build a 650- to 700-space parking structure in the city's downtown redevelopment area.

The parking garage is considered key to rehabilitation of the block bounded by Brand Boulevard, Broadway, and Maryland and Wilson avenues. The project marks the city's first major attempt at rehabilitating a full block downtown instead of razing old buildings to make way for construction.

Already under renovation is Glendale's first high-rise, the six-story Security Pacific Bank building at Brand and Broadway.

The Glendale City Council, acting as the city's Redevelopment Agency, voted, 4 to 0, Tuesday to finance the three-story parking structure. Councilman John F. Day was absent.

Demand Exceeds Supply

City studies show that parking demand in the area exceeds supply by about 650 spaces. Parking demands also are expected to increase as six proposed projects, which would add a total of about 1.5 million square feet of office space, are completed over the next five years, according to city reports.

Parking fees from the proposed structure will pay for about half of the yearly bond obligation. The Redevelopment Agency will pay the rest of the debt, said Susan F. Schick, the agency's deputy executive director.

The proposed parking structure will have retail shops on the first floor of its Maryland Avenue frontage and two stories of parking above that. There also will be two stories of underground parking. The property is owned by the city.

Block to Be Rehabilitated

The rest of the block, a combination of one-, two- and three-story commercial and retail stores, has been targeted by the city for rehabilitation. Shop owners have been given design guidelines by the city and, with approval of the parking structure, will be facing a still-to-be-determined deadline for their own rehabilitation work, Shick said.

Property owners on the block who refuse to upgrade their buildings could have their properties purchased by the Redevelopment Agency through its power of eminent domain. Under law, the agency would determine the fair market value of any properties it purchased.

Construction of the parking structure will likely begin before the end of the year, Shick said. The bonds will be issued this fall.

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