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Glendale gets ready for thousands of new residential units

November 28, 2013|By Brittany Levine, brittany.levine@latimes.com
  • 'Lex On Orange' apartments in downtown Glendale, half which is near completion and half which is at a mid-point of construction, on Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2013. Several properties are under development, many of them for apartment.
'Lex On Orange' apartments in downtown Glendale,… (Tim Berger / Staff…)

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.

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"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.

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