Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Discover Glendale Dining

Where else can you find cuisines from all over the world without having to carry your passport? Downtown Glendale of course! Our latest Dining Guide will take you on an international culinary extravaganza that will delight your taste buds.

Published by the Economic Development Division, the guide features over 100 restaurants in Downtown Glendale, The Americana at Brand and the Glendale Galleria. If you live work or play in the City, Downtown Glendale offers you range of food options to fit any budget and taste including Asian, Middle Eastern, Mexican & Latin American, Italian and American fare. 

Three of our local eateries were featured in a recent LA Weekly article, "Bourbon Steak Chef Kyle Johnson's Favorite Places to Eat in and Around Glendale."

Glendale has grown into a vibrant "18-hour city" that services people's business and entertainment needs throughout the day and into the evening hours. To find out more about Glendale shopping, dining and nightlife, please follow the Economic Development Division  on Twitter: @ChooseGlendale and on Instagram: @ChooseGlendale or contact them directly at (818) 548-3155.

Monday, January 25, 2016

A Year-in-Review: CDD's Highlights from 2015

2015 was a busy year for the Community Development Department with many long awaited projects coming to fruition and  ambitious plans beginning to take shape and unfold.  Here's a look back at some of the year's major accomplishments and highlights.

Museum of Neon Art (MONA)

#1. 18-Hour Day

Economic vibrancy is among the City's Top Ten Strategic Goals and the Economic Development Division is helping achieve this through its "18-Hour Day" Initiative. Downtown Glendale has everything to live, work, and play from early morning until late at night - and is continuing to attract new and exciting additions. This past year, a number of businesses opened which contribute to the vibrancy  of the downtown, including King Taco, Tender Greens, Pizza Rev, Buffalo Wild Wings and Equinox Gym. Through the proactive attraction efforts of the City, Antaeus Theatre Company, the Museum of Neon Art (MONA) and Eden Burger will enrich the Arts & Entertainment District and providing even greater amenities to residents, businesses and visitors.

The campaign was recently visualized in "Glendale: 18-Hour City" a GTV6 production outlining what a full day in downtown Glendale could look like. Another amenity which was recently reintroduced to the 18-hour day is the weekly farmers market, hosted by the Downtown Glendale Association. Economic Development assisted with the relocation of the market and ongoing marketing of the downtown. 

#2.  Meet Space 134

The idea of building a park over the 134 freeway first appeared in the Downtown Specific Plan in 2006. The concept started gaining steam in 2012 when the City received a $125k grant for the development of a vision plan. The plan was endorsed by the City Council in 2013 which opened the doors for an additional $200k grant in 2014. This new funding allowed for the development of planning studies and for community outreach. 

In 2015 the Space 134 Project was introduced to the community through a series of events that allowed the public to weigh in on the proposed project.

Space 134 Concept Drawing

Solar Installation Demonstration During Building Safety Month

#3.  Building Safety Month

May is Building Safety Month and in 2015, different outreach efforts, surrounding the International Code Council's annual event, reached an all time high. The Building & Safety Division hosted a variety of workshops which ranged in topics from accessibility codes to a live solar installation training. Outreach via CDD's social media platforms included safety tips and how-to-videos.

#4.  Creative Affordable Housing Developments

Identifying opportunities to build affordable housing in Glendale continues to be a top priority for the City. By the end of 2015, our Housing Division was responsible for the addition of over 40 new affordable housing units within the City. The Division also worked toward securing an additional 129-159 new affordable units which are currently in various stages of development and are expected to be completed within the next year to 5 years.

The Veterans Village Project and the ACE 121 (Arts, Culture & Entertainment @ 121 Kenwood) Project exemplify the ingenuity that comes with developing an affordable housing project from concept to reality. 
Veterans Village
Downtown Glendale 

#5.  CDD Recognized for DSP & Mobility Study

After being recognized by the Los Angeles Chapter of the American Planning Association (APA) for the successful implementation of the Downtown Specific Plan (DSP) and the Mobility Study, the California Chapter of APA presented the City with the 2015 Award of Excellence recognizing the accomplishments of the two plans.

Together the DSP and Mobility Plan create an optimum transit/pedestrian-oriented environment for reducing auto congestion. Their policies channel development away from hillsides and suburban neighborhoods, directing it to areas where growth is best managed.

#6.  Redevelopment Continues to Wind Down

In 2015 CDD obtained $46 Million of spending authority from the Oversight Board and State Department of Finance to complete several redevelopment projects. These projects included the Laemmle mixed-use project with a 5-screen theater, commercial and residential space, and underground parking; the Central Library renovation project; the Paseo project, a pedestrian paseo joining the Central Library to Brand Boulevard at the Museum of Neon Art (MONA); and the actual Museum of Neon Art building. Both the Paseo and MONA were officially completed in the fall.

The Department also obtained approval of Glendale’s Long Range Property Management Plan (LRPMP) by the Oversight Board and State Department of Finance. The LRPMP dictates the fate of Glendale’s properties that were formerly owned by the Redevelopment Agency. Some of the properties were sold to developers for redevelopment-related projects in Glendale, some were transferred to the City as government-use properties, and others will be sold on the open market.
Rendering:Central Library Renovation 

Community Development Director, Philip Lanzafame (Photo by Cory Hansen)

#7.  New Director Takes the Helm

Philip Lanzafame was appointed to the position of Director of Community Development in September 2015 after serving as the Interim Director for three months. In this role, he oversees the department's divisions including:

As a Glendale/Montrose native, Philip serves the community he lives in with pride. He brings more than 25 years of experience as a local government official specializing in the areas of redevelopment, economic development and housing development. Prior to his current appointment, Lanzafame served as the Director of Community Redevelopment & Housing (before its merger with Community Planning to create Community Development), Assistant Director of Development Services, and Economic Development Administrator for the City of Glendale.

Among the many redevelopment projects he has managed are the Walt Disney Company’s 125-acre Grand Central Creative Campus, Caruso Affiliated’s 15.5 acre Americana at Brand, and the expansion of the DreamWorks Animation Campus. During his career in Glendale, he has collaborated on several planning exercises including the Downtown Specific Plan, the San Fernando Road Corridor Zoning Project, the East Broadway Neighborhood Plan and the Glendale Art & Entertainment District Program and arranged funding for many public facilities and projects including the expansion of the Alex Theatre, renovation of the Central Library, construction of the Adult Recreation Center and rehabilitation of Griffith Manor Park.

Lanzafame earned a Master of Public Administration degree, with distinction, from California State University, Northridge. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from San Diego State University and in 2003, he was awarded a Fannie Mae Foundation Fellowship in the Senior Executives in State and Local Government program at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. He is a lecturer and presenter to a wide variety of organizations from the Urban Land Institute and the former California Redevelopment Association to the USC School of Law and San Diego State University’s School of Planning. He is the author of The Effect of the Built Environment on Community, a comparison study of the effect sprawl and concentrated development has on one’s sense of community and in 2008 received a local area Emmy Award by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences for co-producing Invest in Glendale, a short video feature promoting Glendale as a place to invest and do business.

Philip is also involved with the Glendale community. Board positions with civic organizations include the Friends of the Glendale Public Library, Glendale Educational Foundation (GEF) Advisory member, Glendale Arts, Special Olympics and GEF Summer School, Inc. where he is the organization’s founding president; the 501(c)(3) is a private school dedicated to providing accelerated summer school opportunities (not offered by GUSD) to Glendale students.

Philip has been married to Melinda Lanzafame for 30 years. They have three grown children and live in Montrose. He looks forward to a robust and productive 2016 with the Community Development team!

The Community Development Department (CDD) works to maintain and improve the high standard of living for which the city of Glendale is known. Our goal is to continuously enhance the character of the City through coordinated programs and streamlined procedures, ensuring that all development is done in a predictable and consistent manner and that the quality and character that Glendale residents expect from their neighborhoods is realized. Stay connected with CDD to receive the latest department news and updates.