By Charly SHELTON
Since the first commercial building was constructed along Honolulu Avenue in 1914, the residents and business owners of Montrose have fought to keep the small town purity intact. But in a world of big box stores, chain restaurants and the ever-increasing demand for real estate, a small town needs to update certain things if it’s going to cut it in Los Angeles, where everything wanted is just 20 minutes from anywhere else. It is with this gentle update in mind that the City of Glendale unveiled its Montrose Vision 2020 plan to the Glendale City Council on Tuesday, Aug 2 to see what is going right and what isn’t. The Montrose Shopping Park Assn. worked with the City of Glendale for over a year to craft this detailed report, so after its unveiling to the city council, it was a primary topic of discussion at the monthly MSPA meeting held on Aug. 4.
“I’m very happy to announce that the council received the Montrose Vision 2020 plan very warmly and, in fact, they were especially appreciative and responsive to the comments made by MSPA,” said Jennifer McClain, principal economic development officer with the City.
McClain has been working with the MSPA, the Montrose-Verdugo City Chamber of Commerce and stakeholders of the community, including business owners and residents, since February 2015 to gather input on what should be included in the suggested improvements.
The MSPA sent a letter to the council to accompany the presentation, and two MSPA board members, Steve Pierce and Ken Grayson, and business owner and MSPA executive director Dale Dawson were also in attendance to speak on the board’s behalf.
“I was pleased that they gave it serious consideration and they’re talking in terms of doing something more of an immediate level,” Grayson said. “That’s the best that I think we could’ve hoped for.”
Some of the suggested updates included more parking in the shopping park area, public outdoor art, improved landscaping with more grass and a possible rebranding from Montrose Shopping Park to Montrose Village.
“Some of the points specifically addressed in the letter by MSPA related to the parking, the property and business owners advisory task force and some of the landscaping concerns, specifically grass,” McClain said. “These were each items that the mayor would like to see some follow up on immediately. So it really gets to what we were hoping to do, ultimately, as a next step, which is to identify some of the priorities.”
McClain said that there will be an update with the Vision 2020 and its progress within about a month as the wheels start turning in the City.
“I think the cooperation is there, honestly, and from what I’ve heard the City of Glendale and MSPA are in sync. We’re going forward,” said MSPA Board President Andre Ordubegian. “We’re going to see a lot of benefit of working together on this project. Hopefully we can do a lot of the stuff that Montrose has been lacking for years and accomplish a great deal.”