City officials on Tuesday unanimously approved a five-story building for the Los Feliz Boulevard gateway into Glendale that will include a Korean supermarket, other retailers and professional offices.
Mitaa Plaza, on Los Feliz Boulevard near San Fernando Road, also would have a nine-story, 597-space parking garage. Two floors of the parking garage would be below street level, as would be one floor of the commercial building.
Members of the City Council, acting as the Redevelopment Agency, praised the project and said they expected it to be a catalyst for more investment along the city's southern edge.
"It will bring a transformation, not just to that immediate neighborhood, but hopefully it will extend on to San Fernando Road and Los Feliz and all of the surrounding businesses," Councilman Frank Quintero said.
Mayor Ara Najarian said the site is now "dead and dilapidated," with years passing since nearby industrial buildings were in use.
Young Seo, an attorney for developer Mitaa Wilshire Investment LLC, said that many Korean Americans venture to Koreatown in Los Angeles to do their shopping, and that Mitaa Plaza would serve "the large contingent of Asian and Korean people in the region."
Seo said he expects to have a Korean supermarket on the basement floor of the structure, with other restaurants and businesses at ground level and on the level above. The top two floors would be for medical and other offices.
The project would occupy 2.1 acres on the block surrounded by Los Feliz, Gardena Avenue, Fernando Court and the railroad tracks, across from Costco.
Mitaa Wilshire Investment principal Dr. Kyung Ku Cho also proposed wiping out an eyesore, the concrete embankment along the north side of Los Feliz, and replacing it with landscaping features.
City regulations require 125 more parking spaces than the developers have proposed.
Council members unanimously granted an exception to the parking rules, but imposed other restrictions on the developer. Cho must ensure that all of the estimated 209 employees of the building be able to park for free in the adjacent structure, and that the owner develop a monitoring plan to ensure employees do not park on nearby streets.
"There is no room on the streets in this neighborhood," City Manager Jim Starbird said.