I wanted to respond to your editorial ("Redefining 'blighted,'" Dec. 4) criticizing Glendale's consideration of Rick Caruso's plan to expand the Americana at Brand.
The properties in question are located in a redevelopment area, which was created to improve the city's economic base. Neither the hotel nor the one-story vacant brick building are doing that. In fact, I recall when the hotel used to be a Best Western and (in my opinion) in much better condition than its current state.
The hotel is located next to one of the nicest retail locations in the country. Hotel owner Ray Patel had a great opportunity to take advantage of that, but instead has done nothing except complain that the value of his property has been impacted in a negative manner due to the development of the Americana. That is an absurd proposition.
No one knows what the owner of the brick building is doing because he's left the building vacant and neglected for so long that it has now an eyesore for anyone visiting the Americana. Every out of town guest which I have taken to the Americana points to both the brick building and the hotel and inevitably comment that these two buildings are completely incompatible with the Americana development.
Caruso has a proven track record and has offered to work directly with the owners to make sure they get a fair deal. Caruso's track record in Glendale only leads me to believe he is sincere in that offer. Caruso has even offered to help the hotel's employees find new opportunities.
This can be a "win-win" situation for everyone involved, including the property owners. As a lifelong resident of Glendale, I support the City Council's efforts to improve our community and I'm grateful that Caruso is willing to continue to invest millions in our city to make Glendale the ultimate retail destination in Southern California.
Karl R. Loureiro