Glendale to spend $25M on pair of properties for affordable-housing development
Glendale city officials are set to acquire two large pieces of property for $25 million to develop into affordable housing, citing a goal to offer respite to local residents struggling to keep up with rising rents.
On Tuesday, Glendale City Council and local housing authority members voted to green light the purchase of the properties that City Manager Yasmin Beers said were the result of a long negotiation process.
“This is a project that we all can celebrate together, that we all were very passionate about,” Councilman Vartan Gharpetian said during the afternoon meeting.
One of the sites, located at 515 Pioneer Blvd., is zoned low density and spans 2.8 acres. Expected to close at the end of October, the three-structure site is owned by AT&T and currently allows for construction of up to 53 units with a density bonus.
Carrying a price tag of $13 million, it is being purchased with low- and moderate-income housing asset funds and other local funds, according to Mike Fortney, the city’s principal housing manager.
Plans about how to utilize the site are currently being developed by city staff, city spokeswoman Eliza Papazian said.
Another site, located at 900-920 E. Broadway, is 1.6 acres and includes several historic structures, which will remain. Expected to close at the end of September, the site, owned by Tobinworld, currently allows for up to 48 units with a density bonus.
A potential plan for the project includes developing one of the properties into 52 senior units or 36 family units, in addition to building 80 new units, Fortney said.
All of those units are envisioned as affordable, Papazian said.
The $12.1-million site will be purchased with funds from a local sales tax increase, known as Measure S, which was approved by Glendale voters in November.
More concrete plans for each of the sites — including how many affordable units will be available — will be released in a few weeks, Papazian said.
Gharpetian said he liked that the two sites were in different parts of the city, adding that much of the city’s affordable-housing efforts have been concentrated in south Glendale.
“It spreads it out and gives the community members [the ability] to really enjoy the city, along with everyone else,” he said.
“This is great, what we are going to have on these two sites, but it’s not enough,” Councilman Vrej Agajanian said.
According to Agajanian, the neighboring cities of Pasadena and Burbank have more affordable-housing units — and a smaller population — than Glendale.
He has long suggested allocating $100 million to construct more affordable housing.
In June, council members earmarked about $20 million of the city’s annual budget for affordable-housing development, as well as an additional $4 million for a rental-subsidy program currently in the works.