UPDATE: At the Metropolitan Development Commission meeting Thursday August 22, a 2 week continuance was granted. Up until several weeks ago, it seemed like the developer (Kite + Milhaus) and the immediate neighborhoods had been productively communicating and coming to a position of mutual support. A few weeks ago, however, several residents grew concerned about the lack of communication, lack of traffic study results, and lack of compromise from the developer.
The remonstrators I spoke with after the meeting Thursday agree that redeveloping Glendale is extremely important. At this point, I am hopeful that the developers and the residents can find sufficient common ground ahead of the rezoning hearing September 4 (1pm at the City County Building). I’ll do my best to facilitate this process.
We need to continue to hold developers accountable design that is thoughtful. When public financing is pursued, development should also incorporate a strong element (or elements) of public improvement: added jobs, infrastructure improvements, landscaping, public art, etc. The River House is a great example of this process working well. this project has not yet sought public financing. If it does, we absolutely need to hold Kite and Milhaus to the same standard. It’s also important to note that the City should be held accountable for traffic and infrastructure problems that have resulted from decades of decisions. Killing an otherwise-good development because of the City’s failures or shortcomings would be catastrophic to economic growth, particularly in the face of a very important Glendale project. An empty Macy’s building is a major threat to surrounding property values and the overall health of the area, and needs to be addressed swiftly.
With all of that in mind, I hope we can get to a yes. We have two great opportunities here: first, for the City to address the intersection of Kessler Blvd and Rural; second, to give Glendale a much-needed boost.
EARLIER: Kite and Milhaus hosted a public meeting last week regarding their new proposed development at Glendale. If you weren’t able to attend, please see all of the details here.
There are many components to the project: updates to the current retail square footage (including the now-vacant Macy’s space), a residential addition, and several site changes. There will be more public meetings, as the developer needs rezoning (from C-4 to DP) and the lifting of an existing covenant preventing development on the existing parking lot.
Because of the location of the parcel, several neighborhoods will be holding public meetings. I will publish those as I hear they are occurring, so stay tuned for more opportunities to learn about the project and express your views.
So far I have received several emails in support of the project, as many residents aren’t happy that such an expansive and unused parking lot has occupied that land for so long. The website above gives you an opportunity for feedback, and I would recommend doing so after you are able to review the site plan. You are more than welcome to email me as well with your thoughts. Stay tuned. I’m told that the hearing with the City will be sometime in late July, and that neighborhood meetings will take place between now and then.