Officials are putting off millions of dollars worth of improvements at the Alex Theatre because under a state mandate to dissolve local redevelopment agencies, Glendale may be forced to sell off the historic venue.
In their most recent quarterly report, Glendale Arts, which operates the theater, said they’re holding off on the major upgrades until they know whether earlier moves to try and transfer ownership of the venue from the now-defunct Redevelopment Agency to the city are deemed legal. If not, the venerable theater would be considered a redevelopment asset, and so could fall victim to the state-imposed dissolution process — or what city officials have called a “hostile takeover.”
In February, a state law shut down redevelopment activity throughout California, redirecting the higher property taxes they earned to the state to bridge a yawning budget gap. While Glendale’s redevelopment money was behind start-up projects, such as the Americana at Brand, Disney’s Creative Campus and affordable housing units, it also took over and revamped the city’s crown historic venue, the Alex Theatre.