A seven-story, U-shaped boutique hotel proposed to rise in downtown Glendale passed its first design review hurdle this week.
On Tuesday, Glendale City Council members approved the site plan, mass, scale and general design for the 95-foot-high Hotel Indigo planned for the southwest corner of Central Avenue and Doran Street.
The proposed hotel’s 137 rooms would add to the city’s current 890, with at least 390 more in the works, according to city officials.
Located on a 23,309-square-feet site, the proposed hotel is slated to include a second-floor pool and deck area, fitness room, meeting rooms, lounge areas and a ground-floor restaurant, as well as more than 2,500 square feet of publicly accessible open space.
It will also include 137 parking spots, which is more than is required by the city.
According to a study, it would reduce traffic because the hotel construction requires the demolition of a Burger King that includes a drive-through, said Rodney Kahn, a development consultant with the project.
Several council members said they liked the design — which features brick, stone, metal and glass and is meant to hearken back to late 19th-century Chicago-style buildings — even as some noted that they had limited discretion over the by-right project.
“It’s probably going to be the best-looking building on North Central, when you compare it to all that other boxy stuff [nearby],” Glendale Mayor Ara Najarian said during a special afternoon meeting.
The interior will reflect regional influences, according to lead designer Jeremy Grant.
“It will make a very distinctive and local hotel — a neighborhood hotel, very fitting for Glendale,” Grant said during the meeting.
Some members of the public have voiced concerns that the hotel will bring amenities that local residents can’t afford or can’t use.
“My concern is the economically depressed people that live in that area,” said Greg Guzik during the public-comment portion of the meeting, adding that he doubted that locals would go to the hotel’s restaurant or bar.
A city-commissioned 2015 study suggested that there was local-market demand for more boutique, high-end and high-occupancy hotels.
It showed the city’s hotel supply consisted mostly of budget and limited-service hotels, with just two branded, high-occupancy options available at the time.
During the recent meeting, Councilwoman Paula Devine said the city was beginning to catch up with the city’s needs.
“We have businesses that bring in staff from other cities. We have families here who have relatives that live in other countries and other cities and other states, and they come to visit and, a lot of times, there are no rooms available,” Devine said.
With at least four new hotels under development, in addition to a 25-story, 226-room luxury hotel in the early planning stages, Najarian said it might be time to revisit the 2015 study and reassess demand.
Staff is looking into a possible reassessment, according to Glendale city spokeswoman Eliza Papazian.
Correction: A previous version of this article referred to Jeremy Grant as the hotel architect. He is the lead designer and works in association with the architects at Togawa Smith Martin.