By Ted AYALA
Capital improvements to the historic Alex Theatre in Glendale were saved after the city’s Oversight Board for the Redevelopment Successor Agency voted during its meeting on Wednesday, Aug. 22.
The board also approved to ensure the survival of the Museum of Neon Art and a parking structure for the as-yet unbuilt Laemmle Theatre in Glendale.
The future of these projects was in jeopardy after the state implemented its dissolution of redevelopment agencies across the state. The money the state seized from those agencies was diverted to help close California’s budget gap.
High-profile projects like the ones named above were kept alive but a number of obstacles remain for all of the city’s projects – not least being trumped by a decision from the California Department of Finance. A decision from that department could reverse the Oversight Board’s decision, effectively voiding them, thereby giving the state the freedom to liquidate properties controlled by the board, including the Alex Theatre.
It’s a complex issue that can potentially place the city in the line of sight of lawsuits from the state, as well as clients that may lose out by having the board’s decision reversed. It also may further endanger the remaining redevelopment funds, as they would likely fund any legal challenges.
The city also approved the construction of the Laemmle Lofts project, a complex that would include a movie theatre, retail space and 42 apartments. The proposed location for the project would be in close proximity to the Alex Theatre. Also approved was the use of $1.1 million to build an underground parking structure for the project.
But that was pending approval from the county, Glendale Community College, and Glendale Unified School District. Should any of them veto the city’s proposal to redistribute its property tax revenues for the project, the parking garage would be scrapped.