Glendale gets ready for thousands of new residential units

City projections released this week show the massive development boom underway in Glendale could bring as many as 3,814 units within 21 multi-family complexes.

Despite what may seem to some like an oversupply, developers behind the projects are confident that rental demand will support the ongoing construction.

Glendale developers think they can attract young professionals making $70,000 to $100,000 annually who want an urban, amenity-filled environment and would normally flock to downtown Los Angeles or Hollywood, said Salleh Beitollahi, an associate at Marcus & Millichap Real Estate Investment Services.

Tom Warren, chief operating officer at Holland Partners, said the city is a retail hotspot, thanks to the Americana at Brand and Glendale Galleria, but it was void of hip housing near the entertainment core.

Holland Partners has three Glendale projects totaling 554 units in the works — all along Wilson Avenue between Brand Boulevard and Central Avenue.

"There's a real pent-up demand right now and that's always a good place to be, but we believe that this is going to be a great residential neighborhood for the long term," Warren said, adding that two of the Holland Partners projects should be complete by next fall.

But Beitollahi said the new Glendale developments will still have to compete with similar ones in Hollywood and other Los Angeles neighborhoods.

"For the current supply that's coming online, it's going to be wait-and-see," he said. "If they go stale and they're too expensive, then that'll put downward pressure on rents elsewhere."

The city opened up the downtown area for residential development years ago, but it wasn't until recently that projects started picking up, even beyond the downtown core.

All of the new projects are below the Ventura (134) Freeway. There are so many developments that at least one councilman, Ara Najarian, called for a moratorium on building, a request that fell flat with his colleagues.

Re/Max Commercial Realtor Greg Astorian said developers are attracted to Glendale because of its low rental vacancy rates, hovering around 4%, and an older apartment stock lacking the amenities that young professionals want.

Alliance Residential Co., the developer behind the new ICIS apartment complex, saw that perfect storm coming when it bought land on the 500 blocks of both West Colorado Street and West Elk Avenue in 2007, said Alicia Scott, director of marketing.

ICIS, with 186 apartments, 14 three-story townhomes and 8,500 square feet of ground-floor retail space, was one of the first new developments to be built. Open since January, the complex is 80% full and all of its three-story townhomes, which have starting monthly rents of $4,200, have been leased.

Scott said renters are attracted to the hotel-style living and the community feel. The complex has a game room with a Nintendo Wii and offers pizza-making classes.

According to a city report, there are 3,814 units either completed, under construction, entitled or in the entitlement process.

Entitled projects have been approved by the City Council, but may still have to go through plan checks and other city processes, said City Spokesman Tom Lorenz.

Projects in entitlement are still being reviewed by officials. Many of the projects don't have a completion date yet. So far, 434 units in three developments have been completed since January 2013 and 1,340 units in seven developments are under construction.

Within a 10-minute drive from the city's borders, there are likely 1,500 people between the ages of 22 to 38 who would move to rent in Glendale, according to a Re/Max study. Within a 20-minute drive that demand increases to 2,200.


Follow Brittany Levine on Google+ and on Twitter: @brittanylevine.


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