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Glendale Development Stands Tall : City's Benign Policies Attract Highest Office Building

January 19, 1986|EVELYN De WOLFE

It was the "positive tone" of Glendale and the commitment of its civic leaders to redevelopment in the private and public sector that motivated Smith & Hricik Development Co. of Century City to build that community's tallest building.

Construction is under way on the firm's $48-million, 21-story office building at 550 N. Brand Blvd., one block south of the Ventura Freeway.

The 287,000-square-foot office project, a joint venture of Smith & Hricik with Hillman Properties West Inc. of Newport Beach, is scheduled for completion by June, 1987.

The building was designed by Hellmuth, Obata & Kassabaum Inc., and will have high-speed elevators, and 860 parking stalls fully integrated with the office tower. Leasing prices will range from $1.95 to $2.60 per square foot per month, and will be handled by Coldwell Banker as the exclusive agent.

Relocation Program

"We looked at close to 60 different sites, but the most obvious choice turned out to be Glendale," Steve Smith, president of Smith & Hricik, said.

Glendale, Smith said, operates a unique relocation program equally funded by the Glendale Redevelopment Agency and the Glendale Development Council, made up of a group of civic and business leaders. "The two groups actively pursue corporate relocations and provide support to businesses moving to the city."

Commenting on the latest example of the city's success in the redevelopment and expansion of its downtown area, Larry Zarian, chairman of the Glendale Redevelopment Agency and member of the City Council, was enthusiastic.

"We are very pleased with the stature Glendale continues to achieve with such projects as Smith & Hricik's. If we are going to be a viable community, we have to be partners with the private sector by cooperating, cutting down on bureaucracy, and increasing awareness on the part of our city staff to make things easier for those seeking to invest here," he said.

Strong Labor Pool

Zarian added that Glendale offers tenants numerous benefits--ready access to the Ventura (134), Glendale (2) and Golden State (5) freeways, and a strong labor pool in excess of 1 million.

"Glendale is the third financial center in California after Los Angeles and San Franciscoand it has no bonded indebtedness. Statistics show that it has the lowest crime rate among cities with more than 100,000 population," Zarian said.

Almost 2 million square feet already have been redeveloped within the city's designated redevelopment boundaries (Glenoaks to Colorado boulevards, north and south, and Maryland to Central avenues, east and west), according to the city official, and it is expected that an additional 1 1/2 million square feet will be redeveloped in the next two years.

Zarian listed other projects under construction:

Sears Savings' national headquarters at Glenoaks and Brand boulevards, Reliance Group at Milford Street and Brand Boulevard, Dorn and Platz at Milford Street and Central Avenue.

"We are encouraging merchants and owners of commercial sites to improve and rehabilitate their properties and for an incentive we have committed ourselves to invest $5 million to $7 million in 700 additional parking spaces." Zarian said.

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