CITY HALL — A new banquet hall could soon fill the vacant building next to Billy’s Deli after the City Council gave the proposed site a number of key zoning approvals.
The City Council, acting in its dual capacity as the Glendale Redevelopment Agency, unanimously approved design review and a conditional-use permit for the sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages for the proposed restaurant and banquet hall at 212 N. Orange St.
Under the approved design plans, the building — previously home to the Christian Supply Center of Glendale — will receive “a sleeker, more contemporary” façade and a backdoor patio in the alley behind the building, according to city planners.
Council members said they hoped the project would energize Orange Street, which has few commercial uses despite its proximity to Brand Boulevard.
“This is a street that needs help from a commercial standpoint, and I think this particular use is perfect,” said Councilman Frank Quintero.
Council members also said the banquet hall was well suited for the downtown commercial district as opposed to residential areas, where they have sometimes created parking and noise disputes with nearby property owners.
“I think we’ve always liked to have banquet halls downtown, and this fits the bill of the location,” said Councilman Dave Weaver.
The City Council also approved an 82-space parking exception on the condition that the operators maintain a current lease with a private parking lot across the street and create a safe valet parking plan with city traffic administrators.
“I don’t think we want the chaos of them trying to take the shortest route,” said Mayor Laura Friedman.
With development of the banquet hall in the works for more than a year, project officials said they were excited to move closer to reality.
“We are simply excited and delighted to be a part of and contribute to the renaissance for our wonderful city’s downtown area,” said Khatchik Timourian, general managing partner for the project.
The owner of Billy’s Deli has also been eager to see the project move forward, said his assistant, Evelio Romero.
“It’s good to hear they got approved today,” Romero said. “We’re excited about it bringing maybe new business.”