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Glendale City Council: Taller, Denser Projects in Exchange for Cultural Venues

Downtown Idea Hits New Heights

City planners suggest giving developers the chance to go bigger if art is in the mix.

By Ryan Vaillancourt
January 15, 2008

CITY HALL — City officials looking for ways to attract more cultural venues to Glendale believe they may have found a creative solution: Allow developers to build taller, denser projects downtown in exchange for including a museum, gallery or exhibition space on the ground floor.

City planners offered the idea to the City Council on Tuesday as one in a series of proposed changes to the downtown specific plan, the city’s incentive-based downtown design guidelines geared toward creating a more pedestrian-friendly, dense urban core.

Currently, developers can exceed height and density limits if they add publicly accessible open space, public art and other pedestrian-friendly amenities. And with approval from the council, cultural venues could be tacked on to the list of amenities that trigger an exception on massing or parking regulations.

“The cost of providing parking, additional height and density — these are the three things that actually speak and translate into dollar amounts for developers,” Planning Director Hassan Haghani said.

Since the council adopted the downtown specific plan in November 2006, every project applicant has sought to take advantage of the incentives, Haghani said.

As part of the preliminary proposal offered Tuesday, developers would be entitled to build an additional story if they made 50% or more of one floor a museum, gallery or exhibition space, he said.

The council largely welcomed the idea as an opportunity to enliven Glendale’s cultural offerings.

“Hopefully someday the Auto Club guide, in talking about Glendale, will mention something other than Forest Lawn,” Councilman Frank Quintero said.

The Planning Department is also recommending an increase of 0.5 to floor-area ratio limits, which measure building density throughout the downtown specific plan area. Current floor-area ratio limits range from 2 to 7.5 in the different segments of the plan.

Though the increase could translate into denser projects, Councilman Dave Weaver said existing height limits would keep projects in check.

“It’s always what you visually see when you look at it,” Weaver said. “It doesn’t matter what the [floor-area ratio] is. Height is controlled by feet and stories, so let the [floor-area ratio] fluctuate a little bit.”

The council also supported a proposal to increase height limits on North Brand Boulevard, north of California Avenue, while maintaining limits south of California so as not to allow future projects to build high enough to challenge the prominence of the Alex Theatre’s spire.

All of the proposals will come back to the council as binding policy recommendations.

The proposed floor-area ratio increase, if approved, would require additional environmental review and trigger an amendment to the general plan.

Those updates, once approved by the council, would likely take up to six months to implement, Haghani said.

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Source: Glendale News Press
 

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LAL | LAD | LAK
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I would love to see a plan such as this implemented in Downtown LA. Downtown could really benefit from a plan such as this one. Yes, there's already a major art scene Downtown with a plethora of galleries showcasing contemporary artwork. But I can't help but think this would be a major boost to an already culturally endowed neighborhood (i.e. LA Music Center, Walt Disney Concert Hall, Museum of Contemporary Art, Colburn School, Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, LAUSD High School #9, Downtown Art Walk, Japanese American National Museum, Gallery Row, etc.).

Many of LA's best museums (LACMA, Getty Center, Hammer, Norton Simon, etc.) are located far away from the city center. Hence, we need to lure in more specialized museums, the kinds of museums you can't find anywhere else. Creating a wide and unique range of cultural activities is a vital step in propelling Downtown's continued revitalization and the branding thereof as a majorly regenerated cultural destination, the kind of place that appeals to everybody.
 

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I have yet to go there, but from the looks of it, it's a carbon copy of The Grove (same developer).
 

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I have yet to go there, but from the looks of it, it's a carbon copy of The Grove (same developer).
Its okay westside its just Glendale.... :nuts:
 

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I wish they had built a shopping mall in downtown or at least a somewhat same thing as they did with 3rd street promanade
 

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Rick Caruso will probably just buy it demolish it, and turn it into another outdoor mall and rename it the glendale galleria town center
 

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Shaken, never Stirred
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I hope they will offer sufficient non-compact parking for visitors. I would hate to go and have to squeeze in into a tiny park-spot and be concerned about my car getting scratched up.... :eek:hno: As far as the site, looks great!!!
 

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How is the galleria doing anyway? From what I read and hear, the era of the gigantic indoor mall is about to come to an end. How's the occupancy at the galleria? I would hate to see it demolished and "downscaled" like what's happening to a lot of large indoor malls nowadays. Lots of us kids of the 80s have fond memories of hanging out at large indoor malls like the galleria after school, hanging out at the orange julius, playing video games at the arcade and what not.
 

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Other then Glendale Galleria there is a few more indoor malls left. There is Burbank Town Center, Sherman Oaks Galleria, Beverly Center, Fox Hills Mall (very end of Superbad shot in there :)), Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza, Westside Pavilion, and i guess Santa Monica Place but that is a ghost town.

The south bay area has 3: Del Amo Fashion Center, South Bay Galleria, South Bay Pavilion

Almost every mall in the San Gabriel Valley is an indoor mall. Puente Hills Mall was used for the mall in Back to the Future :) but it looks nothing like that anymore.

I do not know about you all, but I actually love and miss all the indoor malls. A movie just is not as fun when shot at an outdoor mall :tongue3:
 
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