Preliminary permission to build the first small-scale office building in downtown Glendale since redevelopment began 15 years ago has been granted by the Glendale Redevelopment Agency.
In a 3-1 vote Tuesday, the agency approved plans by developer William Holderness to replace a dilapidated, two-story structure at 116 E. Broadway with a new, three-story office and retail building.
Until now, the city had blocked any construction in the downtown area other than major high-rise development. The city's policy was to prevent property owners from making costly improvements to property that the city expects eventually to acquire for high-rise redevelopment.
With the action this week, the city granted Holderness permission to purchase space in a proposed parking garage to be built by the city nearby. New construction in the past has been blocked by a city requirement that parking be provided on-site for any new development.
Councilman Jerold F. Milner opposed the action, saying that granting an exception to one developer could lead to many more requests to construct small-scale buildings in the downtown, taxing the availability of limited parking.