Development continues to spread into Glendale's neglected southern section as a third large mixed-use building along the San Fernando Road corridor received initial approval from city officials this week.
On Tuesday, the city council unanimously approved a preliminary design for The Link, a five-story apartment building with 142 units and 16,000 square feet of commercial space on the ground floor.
It will be constructed on a roughly one-acre lot on the northwest corner of Central Avenue and San Fernando Road.
The project, which is being developed by Glendale-based Kareco Inc., is intended to work in conjunction with the so-called Triangle mixed-use project that is being built on the opposite corner of San Fernando and Central to improve the neighborhood, said George Garikian, owner of Kareco.
"Don't we want to transform the neglected orphan child of Glendale, the south Glendale community, into a destination point that is a pride of the city?" Garikian asked.
To accomplish that goal, the building will feature an all-glass frontage and outdoor plaza on the corner facing the Triangle lot, architect Eric Olson told the Council.
"We want to create a very special corner in combination with the Triangle across the street to make a gateway to the city," Olson said.
The building currently on the site houses Solar Studios, a studio space used for commercials, music videos and other filming locations, which will be incorporated into the new project.
Solar Studios owner Peter Cohn said The Link will help his business by providing more parking, higher ceilings and better acoustics.
However, Emmanuel Suarez, general manager of Solar Studios, didn't fully agree with his boss's assessment of the new development.
"It just seems like it might not be the right time when the other [project] isn't even finished … I think a little more study on what the impact might be might benefit us," he said. "I'm not opposed, I'm just very skeptical. It seems like there's a lot of greed going on."
Councilman Ara Najarian, who while on the campaign trail this spring voiced opposition to the dense development in the pipeline in Glendale, gave his approval to the preliminary design "grudgingly."
"When I discussed it weeks ago, we said, 'Oh, this is the last unit, this is the last project we have,'" Najarian said. "I hope there is enough demand to fill all those units, there is an awful lot of units coming into Glendale."
Still, several other residents came out to affirm their support for the project, and Mayor Dave Weaver said the project would transform a neglected area of Glendale.
"Revitalizing that community is essential," Weaver said. "We've always been criticized that we're not doing anything in south Glendale. Well, the private sector is coming in and doing things."