By Mary O’KEEFE
Anyone who has traveled to downtown and south Glendale cannot help but notice the increase in development. New apartment buildings seem to be on every block. In addition to these new buildings that provide more housing, there are other areas in which these developments provide increased value that are equally important: jobs and appearance.
The enhanced appearance is easily discerned due to the buildings’ having more modern urban design. But at a recent groundbreaking of The Los Feliz Apartments, the new role the project will play as a gateway introducing those entering Glendale to a different view of the city was discussed.
One of the city’s goals is to improve the gateways into the Glendale. The Los Feliz Apartments are located just east of the Costco complex. The area has an industrial look, but with the new planned apartment complex, which includes a pool with cabanas, rooftop deck, fitness room, bike storage and dog run, it is hoped the area overall will be rejuvenated.
It wasn’t easy to finally arrive at the point of the groundbreaking ceremony. Developers went to the city four times to get the final permit approved.
“I can assure you it was a much better project at the end than when it began,” said Glendale Mayor Ara Najarian at the groundbreaking ceremony. “But it is an important site for the City of Glendale because this is our gateway. We want people to know that as soon as they come up Los Feliz this iconic building is going to be welcoming them.”
The project will also provide nearly 500 union jobs.
“We are here to break ground [that is] 100% union,” said Randy Kinder, senior vice president with the AFL-CIO Investment Trust Corp. The project is funded by union pension funds and fueled by union workers that, according to Kinder, will not stop after construction.
The Los Felix Apartments is a $90 million project that will be a five-story building with 220 units and will include a parking structure at 435 Los Feliz.
The AFL-CIO Building Investment Trust (BIT) is the sole owner of the property with Mill Creek Residential acting as the developer.
“It is funded, built and maintained by the union,” Kinder said. “This is union money in a virtual circle.”