Friedman knocks appearance of Sears store

Glendale officials contacted Sears Holdings Inc. this week about its store on North Central Avenue after Councilwoman Laura Friedman last week complained that she was “just sick of it.”

Pointing out its uninspired, outdated appearance, Friedman said during a City Council meeting that the façade “should be a code enforcement issue.”

“It looks closed. It looks dangerous. And I'm just sick of it,” she added.

The store was constructed in 1935, according to Sears officials. However, they did not know when the façade was last updated.

Against the backdrop of a rapidly changing Central Glendale — including new residential and hotel developments near the aging Sears building — Friedman said the company “clearly doesn't care about our city.”

Her comments came as the City Council approved a contract for an extensive street improvement project on North Central Avenue.

Now that Central is going to be improved and several new residential projects are either underway or planned, Friedman said it would be good time to see the Sears façade renovated.

During the meeting, City Manager Scott Ochoa said city officials would send a letter to Sears.

“We can reach out to them again,” Ochoa said. “They've been hesitant to do anything with that site. I think they're still trying to figure out their long-term viability overall as a chain.”

Late last year, the company announced plans to close up to 120 Sears and Kmart stores across the country.

After the council meeting, city spokesman Tom Lorenz said officials have mailed the company materials about Glendale's façade improvement subsidies, which is sent to all businesses any time the city schedules a revitalization initiative in a particular area.

Instead of a formal letter, the city sent an email to start a dialogue with the company.

“They have been contacted. They have been very receptive to the contact,” said Hassan Haghani, community development director for the city. “In terms of what can come out of it, we'll see.”

For their part, Sears spokesman Howard Riefs said the company is willing to talk.

“We look forward to having a productive discussion with them moving forward,” he said.


Follow Mark Kellam on Twitter: @LAMarkKellam.

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