By Mary O’KEEFE
The final Montrose 20/20 report has been released by the City of Glendale. The report is the culmination of several meetings with community members and information resulting from online outreach. The purpose was to collect “ideas of stakeholders to improve elements of Montrose using the tools of the City,” according to the City of Glendale Planning Dept.
With the information gathered from Montrose 20/20, it is hoped that the shopping park can move into the future with a strategic plan in place keeping it competitive in the marketplace.
There were three main reasons, according to the final report, for the “vision” outreach. They included an expressed desire to attract more visitors, shoppers and diners to Montrose; concerns about the proliferation of national tenants, an “overabundance of restaurants,” the lack of retail or the right type of retail, and a change in consumer’s behavior; limited staff and resources regarding every stakeholder involved in Montrose. The report helped identify priorities to address these issues.
The process of creating the 20/20 report included meetings between the city and stakeholders from Montrose Shopping Park, sending out a survey, receiving feedback from the community and stakeholders, and visiting cities like Claremont and Monrovia. The results were presented to the stakeholders in June and then to the Glendale City Council last month.
There were four categories to be addressed: placemaking, marketing, infrastructure and relationships. It was determined these areas would be covered by improving the nighttime experience and attracting new retail shoppers and diners to Montrose, promoting events occurring in Montrose with updated marketing strategies, enhancing customers’ experience in the shopping park by improving infrastructure like parking, and creating an environment that encouraged collaboration between Montrose and the City of Glendale.
The surveys resulted in responses from 520 people participating, the vast majority of whom were visitors and residents. Common themes became clear including the use of the word “love” which was mentioned more than 30 times by respondents.
The survey found that business owners thought Montrose was special because it was family-oriented while visitors to the area considered being safe made the shopping park special. What made it least special to visitors was the nightlife.
Building on the safe feeling stated by visitors, shopping park stakeholders would like to improve the nighttime experience. The Montrose Shopping Park Assn. would also work on finding a balance between retail and restaurants throughout the park. This would include working with property owners to promote available sites and to actively monitor what businesses are looking to move to the area.
The number one survey answer to the question of what would make Montrose better was public music, events and street entertainment.
All of this means that stakeholders in Montrose, with the help of the City of Glendale, will be promoting Montrose more, working on keeping businesses open later in the evening and being proactive in bringing in businesses that will enhance the unique qualities of Montrose.
After the final draft of Montrose 20/20 was presented to the Glendale City Council, Mayor Paula Devine asked that an action plan be developed; this is being discussed with city officials presently, according to Jennifer McLain, principal Economic Development officer City of Glendale.
The final Montrose 20/20 document can be found at the city’s website www.glendaleca.gov.