Last Christmas, I visited family in California for 14 days before heading to Las Vegas. We only stayed in Southern California this time which was fine because there’s so many things to do.

6. The Americana at Brand

On our way back to Torrance from Burbank, we passed by The Americana at Brand in Glendale. It’s a large shopping, dining, entertainment and residential complex in Glendale. This place was magical during Christmas, with huge Christmas Trees, lots of lights and a fountain show. Lots of luxury shopping and trendy restaurants. When we went, Din Tai Fung just newly opened which we didn’t get to try because of long line-ups.

Source: Travelling Foodie

 

By Kaitlyn Yarborough

Safety is a priority whether you’re choosing your next vacation spot, relocating for your career, or just exploring a new part of your city. It’s a constant, if muted, concern.

While crime levels have generally been lowering over the past two decades, increased violent crime in some major US cities this year has sparked a reinvigorated interest in public safety.

Niche, a company that researches and compiles information on cities, recently released its annual list of the safest cities in the country.

The ranking provides an analysis of safety factors, such as violent and property crime rates per capita, in determining the cities with the lowest overall levels. For reference, “violent crime” includes assault, murder, robbery, and rape, while “property crime” includes burglary, larceny, and vehicular theft.

California proved to be the safest state in the nation, taking 11 of the top 25 cities. A suburb of one of the country’s most dangerous cities landed in the No. 1 spot.

Source: Business Insider

 

While some areas of the Glendale Central Library are still being renovated, books have returned to other parts of the library.

By Jeff Landa

After more than a year of renovations and a complete closure starting in September, the Glendale Central Library is closing in on its final construction phase and is on schedule to open this spring.

A $15-million renovation project started in July 2015, with different portions of the library open to the public until a complete closure on Sept. 1. The effort will overhaul the library into a modern, state-of-the-art facility, according to library officials.

Construction is expected to be completed in January and, after some organizing, the facility is slated to hold a grand reopening in March.
Glendale Central Library’s Joe Oliveras shows a remodeled area of the library where books are placed out again. The library is closed to the public and will open in the spring of 2017.

“We are on target and on time,” said Cindy Cleary, the city’s director of library, arts and culture. “We are excited to be reopening. It’s going to be a fabulous facility when it’s finished.”

Renovations were done in phases, with the first being a remodel of the large book stacks area in the back of the library. Along with earthquake retrofitting, the change will open space for additional seating and furniture.

The following five phases are smaller in scope, but accommodate for the dramatic upgrades in technology that were needed because the library opened in the 1970s. These include faster broadband, a digital lab, and a MakerSpace, which will be an instructor-led workshop for arts and crafts.

“We are pulling ideas from other libraries and needs in the area,” Cleary said. “We actually had a futurist come in during the design phase of the project and envision what libraries would look like 20 to 30 years from now. So, it’s a combination of things — really, the outcome of community involvement.”

Among other changes are the installation of an elevator and the relocation of the library’s entrances to two locations — one on the south side of the building and the other on the north, facing Harvard Street. A remembrance room called “Man’s Inhumanity to Man” will also be open to the community.

An array of programing is planned for the reopening week, including a gala event, a hack-a-thon to go along with the MakerSpace as well as a number of appearances by guest authors.

Source: Glendale News-Press

 

By Jeff Landa

The Americana at Brand’s 100-foot-tall Christmas tree completed its 600-mile trek early Monday morning and was hoisted into place at the outdoor mall in preparation for its official unveiling later this month.

The massive white fir arrived by way of Mt. Shasta in northern California, resting on the back of a flatbed truck. Once the tree arrived, workers lifted all of its 13,000 pounds above the Americana and into a concrete hole.

The more than 80-year-old tree will be adorned with 15,000 lights and more than 10,000 holiday ornaments during the next few weeks by a group of three to four decorators. The tree will debut at a public tree-lighting ceremony to be held at 7 p.m. on Nov. 17 at the Americana.

“We go big on holidays here,” said Julie Jauregui, senior general manager at the Americana. “The Christmas tree just brings a lot of joy to people and that’s really what it’s all about. It just makes the experience so much more special when you are doing your holiday shopping.”

Only white fir trees that are at the end of their life cycle are chosen as the official Christmas tree at the Americana, according to mall officials, and 10 new white firs are planted in place of each tree chosen annually to be featured at the Americana.

When the holidays end, the tree’s branches will be turned into mulch, and the trunk will be converted into firewood.

The tree lighting ceremony is a part of larger holiday events at the Americana, including Santa’s Village and artificial snowfall twice a week.

Source: Glendale News-Press

 

Press release from: Structural Focus

The Masonic Temple, Glendale, CA

Los Angeles-area, CA, October 26, 2016 — Structural Focus team members accepted the Structural Engineers Association of California (SEAOC) Excellence in Structural Engineering Merit Award in the Historic Preservation category during the SEAOC 2016 Annual Convention in Maui, Hawaii. Structural Focus President, David Cocke, S.E. accompanied by Project Engineer, Brendan Ramos, S.E., and Design Engineer, Maria Mohammed, P.E. represented the firm. Brendan Ramos was also awarded the 2016 Nabih Youssef Young Engineers Award and Maria Mohammed received SEAOC’s Young Member Award.

Caruso Affiliated partnered with the tenant, CBRE Group Inc.; architect, Gensler; preservation consultant, Page & Turnbull; contractor, W.E. O’Neil; and structural engineer, Structural Focus, to successfully transform the historic building into a state-of-the-art creative office space within the parameters of a significant landmark.

The Masonic Temple in Glendale, California, once stood as the tallest building on Brand Boulevard and has housed six different Masonic organizations since its opening in 1929. The building is listed in the Glendale Register of Historic Resources. The Masonic Temple’s historic renovation was dictated by a fast-paced schedule that posed a challenge on a complex structural project. The 16 million dollar renovation was completed in approximately seven months from beginning of design to occupancy.

STRUCTURE Magazine’s March issue featured an insightful article by Structural Focus Project Engineer, Brendan Ramos, S.E. and President David Cocke, S.E., F.SEI, F.ASCE. The Modern Temple: Making a Historic Monument Shine explains the transformation of the ‪historic‬ Masonic Temple in ‪Glendale‬ into a state-of-the-art office building.

Structural Focus is a structural engineering consulting company specializing in the design of complex and innovative buildings. Whether the projects involve historic restoration or detailed laboratories, acoustically-sensitive post-production facilities or performance spaces, educational structures or corporate headquarters, Structural Focus embraces the collaborative process of design through an ongoing, open, creative and clear dialogue between the team and owner.

Structural Focus
19210 S Vermont Ave.
Bldg B, Suite 210
Gardena, CA 90248

For further information contact:
Lily Duarte, Marketing Coordinator
310.323.9924 | lduarte@structuralfocus.com

This release was published on openPR

Source: OpenPR

 

By Jeff Landa

Glendale’s Tech on Tap series — a forum for entrepreneurs and marketers to connect with their community — will hold its sixth event on Wednesday, this time sharing the story of how two friends created the city’s first microbrewery.

This month’s meetup will feature the co-founder of Brewyard Beer Co., Kirk Nishikawa, who will talk about how he and his longtime friend Sherwin Antonio turned a drunken promise into a sophisticated microbrewery from scratch.

The Glendale Tech on Tap series launched in May as a lead-up to the larger Tech Week in September and continued on a monthly basis thereafter. Led by Jennifer McLain, Glendale’s principal economic development officer, the events serve as an informal way to bring small businesses and would-be entrepreneurs together to learn and network with one another.

Source: Glendale News-Press

 

By Jeff Landa

Howard Chen, owner of Legacy Comics, holds a collectable comic book at Legacy Comics in Glendale on Wednesday. Chen has owned the shop for 26 years.

The bulk of the space at Legacy Comics and Cards is filled with staple-bound books telling suspenseful tales of superheroes and underdogs.

Tucked in a corner of downtown Glendale for 26 years, the 2,300-square-foot store is the sole destination in the city where customers can take home the latest comic issues or stay for a time to peruse a small library of mostly American artists.

“The Amazing Spider-Man” No. 1, the 14-page story that reintroduced Spider-Man to the world in 1963, is preserved somewhere in the back. It’s a kind of holy grail for nostalgia collectors, completionists or anyone interested in Marvel Comics’ history. Here, too, is the formation of the X-Men, the death of Superman and the violent stories that spawned popular TV series, “The Walking Dead.”
A customer checks out some of the new comic book arrivals at Legacy Comics in Glendale on Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2016. Howard Chen, the owner, has owned the shop for 26 years.

A customer checks out some of the new comic book arrivals at Legacy Comics in Glendale on Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2016. Howard Chen, the owner, has owned the shop for 26 years.

(Tim Berger / Glendale News-Press)

Owner Howard Chen, 45, discovered comics at age 14 thanks to a cousin who would often stop by and share his Avengers collection with Chen and his siblings. Years later, Chen would inherit that same collection and start selling them at local comic conventions.

“I pretty much started when I was in junior high school selling at comic book shows — two shows a month when I was 16,” Chen said. “I was selling to school kids, kids in my junior high, kids at my high school at the back of my house. It’s the only thing I’ve ever done since I was 16.”

Chen spent only a year at Cal State Northridge studying business management, foregoing a degree at 19 after he got the opportunity to buy a comic shop in Glendale. One generous loan from his parents later and Heroes for Sale reopened as Legacy Comics and Cards in 1990.

“My goal was to enjoy what I was doing,” Chen said. “I remember saying to myself at the time, ‘I don’t care if I make any money.’ ”

There is considerable life outside of the books themselves at Legacy Comics. Located just past the downtown retailer behemoths, the store gathers fans from all over Los Angeles searching for their favorite or latest issues, usually on Wednesdays when fresh stock arrives.

If shoppers are overwhelmed by the healthy selection of books, they’ll be greeted by employees like Nirut Poonsombat, who juggles the colorful inventory in ways to make it accessible to novice, longtime or lapsed collectors. The occasional celebrity who’s benefited from the popularity of comics will stop in for help too.

“We’re more like a pop culture store now, not a comic book store,” Poonsombat said he likes to say.

Jim Marx, 65 and retired, is a once-a-week staple at Legacy Comics. His collection dates back 46 years and is spread out across two homes in Los Angeles. Marx started buying books from Legacy when owner Chen was still running the shop on his own.

Marx hasn’t switched shops because he said the place still retains the personal, small business feel that is more and more difficult to find downtown.

“It’s kind of nice for me because I’m old and I’m old fashioned,” Marx said. “I like the kind of small-town atmosphere of Legacy. It’s sort of stayed the same after all these years.”

Legacy has changed, however, mostly behind the scenes. After the comic industry crashed in 1996 “everybody went back to their regular jobs,” according to employee Poonsombat. While several comic stores closed up like dominoes, including one started by a former employee of Chen, Legacy was kept afloat by his knowledge of the business.

“When the boom sort of died, I didn’t really have a sense of ‘oh no, it’s all gone,’ ” Chen said. “It was like going back to when I first started selling comics. I diversified product lines to include comics, sports cards, and later on card games.”

Glendale’s recent dramatic increase in development has also been a small boon for Legacy. The neighboring empty lot was recently filled with luxury apartments, and Chen has noticed not just more customers, but a shift in demographic as well.

Once a haven for older males, the comic shop is today more welcoming to kids and women, thanks to recent efforts by mainstream publishers Marvel and DC Comics to include them more prominently in their stories.

“That wasn’t happening back in the ’90s, 2000s,” Chen said. “Now, we see a lot of kids and we see a lot of women, so much so that that is the biggest change — the demographic of comic book customers.”

Source: Glendale News-Press

 

Healthy eating comes to the heart of Glendale

By Farley Elliott

Greenleaf Gourmet Chopshop Goes Veggie Casual With New Glendale Location

Glendale’s booming growth continues with the addition of healthy-eating salad temple Greenleaf Gourmet Chopshop. The local mini-chain owned by Jon Rollo has been similarly busy of late, with outlets everywhere from Beverly Hills to Costa Mesa to the heart of Venice — and now, right in the thick of it all on Brand Boulevard.

The casual all-day restaurant officially opens to the public on October 10, joining the ranks of the recently-unveiled Shake Shack, Philz Coffee, and Mainland Poke across the street from The Americana. The only ones left to come online as of next week will be the long-awaited Eggslut.

Once Monday hits, guests at Greenleaf will be able to dive into a menu that features everything from barbecue chicken pizza to lemongrass chicken salads, with crunchier items and full chicken and steak entrees to match. There are also juices, protein shakes, craft beer, and wine available as well.

On Friday, October 14, Greenleaf will welcome in the community for free food as well, offering a handful of the best-selling items (a turkey melt, the angus burger, etc.) gratis while supplies last. The shop will open at 10:30 a.m., and the offer is good for dine-in or takeout service.

Greenleaf Gourmet Chopshop Glendale
252 S. Brand Blvd.
Glendale, CA

Source: Eater LA

 

By Kari Hamanaka WWD

The Bae sisters are keen on keeping manufacturing in Los Angeles. The Baes — Elizabeth and Claudia — come from a family already in the business. Their parents own a factory in Los Angeles and the two quietly began working on their denim line, 1denim, in May 2015, more recently unveiling it to the public with a store at Caruso Affiliated’s Americana at Brand in Glendale and an online store. Wholesale will eventually be in the cards as well.

The choice for the company’s first real estate move at Americana is an interesting one but provides insight into how it’s positioning itself in the future.

“We wanted to target an area that was more family-oriented,” explained Claudia. “We do have product offering from kids and toddlers to your teens to young professionals and older women and men so we wanted to target a market that serves all of those.”

The 1,200-square-foot store, which bowed under the radar last month, has been doing well, the Baes reported. The majority, about 90 percent of people who try product on in store make an actual purchase, according to Elizabeth. The store also benefits from a good amount of walk-in business and boasts its own coffee bar and sells gourmet chocolates from Santa Barbara.

“We added the coffee and chocolate component because it was a way to reach an additional crowd, especially nowadays with retail being so difficult,” Claudia said. “We felt that because our strategy was to start with direct retail, we wanted a creative way to attract customers. I also do think it makes for a good shopping experience.”

The two plan on opening additional brick-and-mortar locations and are eyeing a potential location in Orange County. It’s a market similar to Glendale in that it’s a more suburban setting that would garner a diverse customer mix, according to Elizabeth. She added the store could open as early as the first part of 2017.

The goal, Claudia added, would be to open as many as 10 stores next year, with a sprinkling in California and then other parts of the country.

“We definitely want to do more brick-and-mortar and the main reasoning behind that is because we are a factory direct-to-consumer brand,” Claudia said. “We have our own factory and we want to keep our prices low.”

Pricing on the women’s side starts at $89 and can go up to $130 for a jacket, while men’s starts at $99 and runs up to about $140.

A look at the 1denim store and some of its jeans, which start at $89 for women and $99 for men.
A look at the 1denim store and some of its jeans, which start at $89 for women and $99 for men.
A look at the 1denim store and some of its jeans, which start at $89 for women and $99 for men.

The company’s also now building a sales team to develop a wholesale business, Elizabeth said. With small margins, finding the right retail partners will be key, her sister added.

The factory, located in Los Angeles with a workforce of about 300, is owned by the Baes’ parents who have been running a private label business for more than 26 years and helped fund their daughters’ business. The two sisters cited the rising labor costs that have made it a challenge to continue manufacturing domestically as a good chunk of production moves to Mexico or Vietnam. It’s that shift that motivated the two to create their own brand and continue manufacturing in the city and it’s also what gives them a leg up on the competition.

“More than 26 years experience in denim production is a very unique set of expertise that my parents bring to the brand,” Claudia said of how 1denim will differentiate itself in the market. “Other brands go to manufacturers like us to get their products made but we are the manufacturer. We understand what works and what doesn’t. That gives us a huge advantage.”

Source: Los Angeles Times

 

By Matthew O’Shannessy Justin Higuchi

Glendale is all about the Americana at Brand. Whenever I go there, it’s to see a movie—but I have to admit there’s a kitschy pleasure in hanging out in the open-air mall’s micro-Disney atmosphere. It’s like an island of security-enforced wholesomeness in the middle of LA’s gloriously decadent seas.

If you often wish that there was somewhere else to eat besides Cheesecake Factory, you should know that the Americana is practically taking over downtown Glendale. A new expansion at Brand includes chains like Shake Shack, Philz Coffee and Greenleaf—plus a bar has been added to the original Americana location (if there’s one thing Glendale definitely needs more of, it’s bars).

In addition to the Americana development, a few new places have recently opened their doors. If you love cruising Glendale’s leafy streets (or even if you’ve never been there) there’s never been a better time to visit. Here are five places to hit up as Glendale’s star ascends.

Source: Eventbrite

 

WalletHub ranks cities “… with the greatest number and variety of fun yet cost-effective options…” of activities.

By Renee Schiavone (Patch Staff)

So, you’re looking for someplace fun to plan your next vacation or move in California, are you? Lucky for you, the Golden State is chock-full of great cities where you can go to have an amazing time.

Obviously, you’re bound to get a different answer from anyone you ask about where the “most fun” places may be located. But, the people over at the personal-finance website WalletHub sought to help ease your trip-planning by providing a data-based look at the fun to be had in California, along with every other state in the nation.

Lo and behold: 2016’s Most Fun Cities in America.

“To help Americans find the cities with the greatest number and variety of cheap, fun activities, WalletHub’s number crunchers compared the 150 largest cities across 51 key metrics, ranging from ‘number of fitness clubs per capita’ to ‘movie costs’ to ‘average open hours of breweries,'” WalletHub says of its new report.

WalletHub also made sure to look at the types of options of activities each city provides.

“In a city with enough variety, you won’t have to compromise with your amigos, your family or even yourself about the next fun activity to do alone or together,” WalletHub says.

It may not be surprising that Las Vegas topped the overall list, followed by Orlando and Miami. Rounding up the top five cities in the United States in the “fun” category are New Orleans and Salt Lake City.

As for California, San Francisco tops the local list — but didn’t show up in the national rankings until No. 15. However, the City by the Bay did land in the top of some subcategories nationally, including “most festivals per capita,” “most fitness centers per capita” and “most dance clubs per capita.”

What’s more, San Francisco has the highest percentage of the population with walkable park access, according to WalletHub. The city also boasts the most performing arts theaters per 100,000 residents,

Here is a breakdown of the California cities included on WalletHub’s ‘Most Fun Cities in America’ report:

# 5 Glendale (Number 60 nationally)

Source: Patch

 

By Kathy Vara

There’s a new Shake Shack in town and it’s located in Glendale. Kathy Vara reports for the NBC4 News at 5 on Saturday, Sept. 24, 2016.

Source: NBCLA

 

By ABC7.com Staff

GLENDALE, Calif. (KABC) — Shake Shack launched its second California restaurant with the grand opening of its Glendale location on Friday.

The newest burger stand is located at 252 S. Brand Blvd., across from The Americana at Brand.

The popular New York-based burger restaurant opened its first California location at the corner of Santa Monica Boulevard and West Knoll Drive in West Hollywood back in March.

Shake Shack is known for their smashed burgers, fried chicken sandwiches, hot dogs, shakes, crinkle-cut fries and dog-friendly treats.

The chain has developed a cult-like following since it first opened in New York City’s Madison Square Park more than a decade ago.

Shake Shack said its Glendale location will donate 5 percent of sales from its Invictus concrete – which features vanilla custard, Compartes Coney Island chocolate chunks, salted caramel sauce and crumbled sugar cone cookie – to Ascencia, a nonprofit that is helping to end homelessness in Glendale.

Shake Shack plans to open a third Southern California location in downtown Los Angeles in 2017.

Source: ABC7

 

Living alone in an apartment or home can be freeing, frightening, and a fun way to experience life. Getting to know yourself better, grocery shopping and cooking for one, and nobody else to blame for the dirty dishes. If you ever have the chance, and desire, to do so it can be a great way to challenge yourself and stay far away from any roommate drama.

Safety is also an important issue when living alone. You want to feel safe from property crime and of course, violent crime when walking down the street in your city or even just hanging out in your living room. Those who live alone can be especially vulnerable to attacks – so choosing a safe, clean city with low crime rates can be paramount.

We’ve compiled a list of some of the safest cities and towns in the US for solo apartment living. This list was created using population and crime statistics for the area, as well as inspiration from awards given by other publications.

You’ll notice a number of cities in California, and you may also recognize that all of the cities are hovering around the same population figures. These areas stood out to our team as safe places to live alone – click on the city name to see the available apartments with reviews on Apartment Advisor. Did your city make the list?

Glendale, CA

Population: 213,577

Single: 77,356

Crime: 44% lower than national avg.

Source: Apartment Advisor

 

Inside the second LA-area location of NYC’s modern burger icon

By Farley Elliott

Starting tomorrow, fans of East Coast burger monopoly Shake Shack will have two, count ‘em two, places to get their fix. At 11 a.m. sharp, Shake Shack Glendale comes to life.

Tomorrow’s immediate doubling of Shake Shack locations across Los Angeles should help considerably to ease the crush of evening and weekend fans to the West Hollywood original, while simultaneously growing the eyeballs on the brand overall — though with 100 outlets and counting globally, they certainly aren’t hiding. And with at least a few other locations around the county in the offing, soon enough Angelenos won’t be able to go more than a couple of miles without spotting the wavy burger logo from the car window.

Still, this new Michael Hsu-designed location across from the Americana is considered a statement piece for the company, wrapped in glass and delivered right on the busy corner. Sporting high ceilings and the usual muted browns and blacks of the other locations worldwide (but with that usual peek of neon green the company is known for), this Shake Shack iteration promises to be a slightly more compact outlet than the West Hollywood location, but without losing any of the charm.

They also obviously haven’t scaled the menu back any, which means burger-loving fans can expect the usual slew of smashed burgers — including the LA-specific Roadside Double — and fried chicken sandwiches, plus concretes, fries, craft beer, and wine to choose from. This location is unique for one thing though: Shake Shack is partnering with Nicole Rucker of Rucker’s Pie for a vanilla custard concrete that will include a rotating slice of pie.

Shake Shack Glendale opens tomorrow, keeping daily hours thereafter from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Want to be the first one inside? Better get there quick because this place is going to be mobbed, especially once Eggslut next door finally comes online.

Shake Shack Glendale
252 S. Brand Blvd.
Glendale, CA

Source: Eater LA

 

By Farley Elliott

Fans of New York City transplant The Halal Guys won’t have to wait in those long Koreatown lines for much longer, as the quickly franchising chain has secured a second location in Downtown.

DTLA Rising got the scoop on the place first, which will take over a retail location called Brigade LA on 7th Street, just behind Whole Foods. The space still has quite a ways to go though, so don’t expect anything until probably spring of 2017.

The second true Los Angeles location should certainly put The Halal Guys on the map for anyone who isn’t already intimately familiar. That stretch of 7th Street is a murderer’s row of strong concepts, with Ray Garcia’s B.S. Taqueria just two doors down, and Bottega Louie not far off from that. Also within eyesight is Ricebar, Little Sister, Seven Grand, Sugarfish, and, around the corner, Chica’s Tacos.

7th Street is a murderer’s row of strong concepts

Not that the Halal team is scared. Their previous iterations in Costa Mesa, Long Beach, and Koreatown have all proven to be massively popular, which has helped to scale the East Coast company quickly. Since agreeing to franchise the name and recipes a few years back, new outlets of the brand have sprung up all over the country as well.

This also isn’t the last L.A.-area location to land, as the company has plans to push into both Cerritos and Glendale as well. The Cerritos location 11435 South St., while the Glendale spot is nearly finished with construction at 201 N. Brand Blvd., just up from the Americana and all those other dining outlets across the street.

The Halal Guys, Glendale

Reached for comment, a rep for Halal Guys notes the following timeline:

We have been overwhelmed by the excitement and enthusiasm for the concept. We are really excited to announce that we still have lots more coming in 2016 and 2017! We are currently working on two locations in Cerritos and Glendale that should open later this year, followed by the Downtown LA location next year.

Expect The Halal Guys in Downtown LA to arrive sometime in 2017.

The Halal Guys
510 W. 7th St.
Los Angeles, CA

Source: Eater LA

 

Free drinks and pastries from the SF-based coffee team

By Farley Elliott

Things are heating up along Brand Boulevard in Glendale, as the second of several proposed new eateries is about to come online. Philz Coffee is soft-opening next Wednesday near the recently-arrived Mainland Poke, and plans to give away lots of drinks the day they throw their doors open.

Like with all Philz Coffee debuts, the first soft-open day is usually a time for the staff to hone in on the details and work through the inevitable crowds. As such, there are always limited hours — in this case 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. — and lots of free coffee and pastries to go around. You can actually sign up here to let the Philz team know you’re coming, or just show up next Wednesday to caffeinate yourself silly.

Earlier this year in May the company actually staged a sort of meet-the-neighbors campaign in front of the under-construction store, doing much the same work doling out coffee to anyone who walked by. It’s a smart move, as the San Francisco brand continues to make strong inroads across the city.

Recent expansions have taken the team from their Santa Monica original into Downtown, Pasadena, the Arts District and the heart of Hollywood, though this Glendale arrival — next to a Greenleaf, Eggslut, Mainland Poke, and Shake Shack — is perhaps in the best company of all.

Philz Coffee Glendale
252 S. Brand
Glendale, CA

Source: Eater LA

 

Bigger and better for one of LA’s premiere poke shops

By Farley Elliott

Glendale earns a little Mainland Poke today, with the fresh seafood concept arriving along Brand Boulevard by around noon.

The soft-opening of Mainland Poke in Glendale represents the first in a long phase of coming attractions for the Caruso Affiliated team, which owns The Americana across the street and has been keen to drop in every other big name nearby, be it Eggslut or Shake Shake.

With Mainland, the look as been brushed up and streamlined from the Third Street original. Consider this address a model for future locations — including one coming to Marina del Rey in the near future — with some fun wood detailing and lots of glass thanks to architect AbramsonTeiger Architects. The back ordering counter offers the same DIY seafood bowl options, with the addition of a big open window looking into the kitchen behind, so guests can watch as whole fish get broken down by hand.

As for the menu, owner Ari Kahan isn’t changing much from the first location in Los Angeles proper. Guests will still be able to build their own bowls, or pick from the list of menu favorites. That means albacore, salmon, tuna, and octopus, with toppings from seaweed to kale to mango.

Soft opening happens today at noon, with normal hours running from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. The official opening isn’t until Tuesday, September 6, where the first 100 people in line will get a free signature bowl, and everyone else earns buy one get one free status all day.

Mainland Poke Glendale
252 S. Brand Blvd.
Glendale, CA

Source: Eater LA

 

Mainland Poke Glendale Grand Opening will be Tuesday, 9/6.  First 100 guests will enjoy a complimentary Mainland Poke Signature Bowl and for the entire day, they are offering ‘Buy One, Get One’ bowls (limit one per guest).”

GLENDALE (new, 2nd location):
252 S. Brand Blvd, Suite C
Glendale, CA 91204
(818) 696-1507
Twitter: @mainland_poke
Instagram: @mainlandpokeshop
Facebook: @mainlandpokeglendale

LOS ANGELES (original location)
8318 1/2 W 3rd St
Los Angeles, CA 90048
(310) 234-8800
Twitter: @mainland_poke
Instagram: @mainlandpokeshop
Facebook: @mainlandpokebeverlygrove

Source: KTLA 5

 

By Jeffery Marino

Southern California, and Los Angeles in particular, is known for its sprawling geography and infamous car culture. In fact, SoCal didn’t rank on Walk Score’s annual list of the most walkable cities in the nation in 2014 or 2015, but finally earned a spot this year with Long Beach breaking back into the top 10.

As it turns out, there are many highly walkable areas in SoCal—but most of them are better known as tourist destinations, like Central Hollywood where you can stroll the Walk of Fame, and the Gaslamp district in San Diego. We wanted to find out the most walkable neighborhoods in SoCal that aren’t just great places to visit, but also great places to live. So, we scoured SoCal from San Diego to Santa Barbara and limited our list to neighborhoods in cities with a population under 300,000 people, and neighborhoods with a population of at least 1,000.

There are some real surprises here that many veteran SoCal residents might be shocked by. Looks like it’s time to check out Downtown Lancaster!

City Center, Glendale — Walk Score 91

Just northeast of Downtown L.A., many SoCal residents aren’t aware of the bustling little city of Glendale. Living in Glendale’s City Center neighborhood is a great option for people who want amazing walkability and proximity to jobs in the Valley or Downtown L.A. “City Center in Glendale is probably best known for the upscale shopping center, The Americana at Brand,” said Redfin real estate agent in L.A. Seta Chorbajian. “The Americana has it all, from a state of the art movie theater, big box chain stores and high-end boutiques. But I think the best part of living in this neighborhood is that you can walk to In-N-Out—it doesn’t get any more SoCal than that!”

Source: Redfin

 

By Arin Mikailian

A sliver of Maryland Avenue will soon be closed off to traffic for a trial run of a pedestrian walkway that’s being called the Maryland Paseo.

Stemming from an idea by City Council members, a 2,500-square-foot swath of the street between the two exits of the Exchange parking lot will be sectioned off, said Jennifer McLain, a principal economic development officer with the city.
 
That means drivers can only make a left turn from one of the exits and only a right turn from the other, McLain said.

The project is a pilot program that will run for about three months starting as early as mid-August, she said.

In the paseo itself there will likely be places to sit, games for children to play and possibly some artwork, McLain said.

“We want to create a passive experience for folks that are working in Glendale by providing tables and chairs for the daytime population. That’s an important element we want to provide,” she said.

The goal is also to try to draw enough pedestrian traffic to attract new business tenants along Maryland and to also play off the completion of two upcoming projects: the new Laemmle movie theater and renovation of the Glendale Central Library.

“We’re going to see the immediate infusion of more arts- and culture-based activities, so the hope will be to continue off that momentum,” McLain said.

The city has reached out to business owners along Maryland who’ve been supportive of the paseo idea including Urik Ghazalian, owner of Urartu Coffee.

He said three months will be enough time to gauge the project’s success, and if it’s going well, he would want to continue it.

He also offered a suggestion. “I want to see some tents to help out on hot and rainy days,” Ghazalian said.

A number of local groups are being courted for programming along the paseo, such as the Downtown Glendale Assn., so it could use some of the large planters it has on Brand Boulevard for the borders, McLain said.

On Thursday, the city’s Arts and Culture Commission voted 4-0 to allocate $5,000 to pay for an art feature.

Commissioner Teri Deaver said whatever the money goes toward should be something that draws people into the paseo.

“I think it needs to be immersive,” she said.

Source: Glendale News-Press

 

By Lesley Balla

While we await a new Americana at Brand annex to open with Tsujita, Mainland Poke and Shake Shack, Glendale’s finest outdoor mall is still upgrading its food and drink options. Just in time for the hottest days of the year, Ombra Wine Bar has debuted across from Amici, its parent restaurant, right on the green near the fountains. The shaded tables allow views of the dancing waters and the kids watching them in awe, and throughout the summer you’ll have a view of the outdoor movies on Tuesday nights.

There’s a small wine bar for individuals or couples looking for a quick sip in between all the shopping madness, and a few tables scattered around a patio for small groups as well. The menu is kept light and breezy, things that go well for a lingering lunch, happy hour or evening snacks, including burrata with heirloom tomatoes and herbs; sandwiches and larger salads; and cheese and salumi boards. There is a full bar, which means refreshing cocktails, in addition to bubbles and wine. Bonus: There is an entire page of gin and tonic selections — pick your gin from the extensive list, plus your tonic and garnishes. Hours are 11:30 AM-10 PM, Sunday through Thursday; and until 10:30 PM on Friday and Saturday.

783 Americana Way

Source: Zagat

 

By Elizabeth Toy

“I grew up around lowriders, so my first word was ‘Hydraulics.’ It wasn’t ‘Mother.’ That oughta tell you what my passion was, from the beginning,” said Daniel Ayala, an engineering consultant from Alta Loma, at the Glendale Cruise Night this past Saturday.

More than 350 pre-1980 vehicles were on display along Brand Boulevard between Broadway and Milford Street, including custom-built and modified classic cars as well as motorcycles, for the 23rd annual event.

Ayala spent seven years restoring his 1961 Chevy Impala. The vehicle drew attention with its custom plum with copper pearl body and hand-spun silver stripes down either side.

“It was kind of a junker. I completely disassembled the car, every nut and bolt. Literally, the car was in a million buckets and cans, and then (I) started from the ground up, everything brand new again. So, really, what you’re looking at is a brand new ’61 Impala.” Ayala said.

Ayala’s car was just one of many lowriders and hot rods that captured the attention of spectators.

Many poked their heads under hoods, admiring engine compartments, using mirrors to view undercarriages, and even dancing to the hip-hop classics that blasted out of custom sub-woofers and tweeters.

More than 40,000 people attended this year’s Cruise Night, according to city officials. It featured hundreds of vehicles, food, live music, activities for kids, an awards ceremony and a fireworks display.

Behind many cars were stories of friendship, passion and the dream to drive and own a beautiful, classic vehicle.

“When I take (the car) out, I don’t worry about anything else. I just take it out for fun — I think that’s what life’s about,” said Joe Gutierrez of Mission Hills, owner of a 1965 Cadillac Coupe de Ville.

Onlookers strolled up and down Brand, posing for photos in front of classic and custom-built cars.

A couple of participants even dressed in the era of their vehicle.

Encino residents Ken Sobel and Larry Levine sported zoot suits, standing outside their vehicle as the old-world sounds of Al Bowly could be heard flowing out of speakers.

“We both always wanted to get a gangster car and it just worked out. We did.” Levine said.

Levine and Sobel, who have been friends since junior high school, went in together to buy a 1934 Dodge DRXX in 1998.

Sobel was in the hospital at the time, and the surgeon told him that he had less than 10 years to live.

“My wife always wanted an old car, so I called up my friend and said, ‘Larry, bring me over some old-car magazines.”

Two months after they found the Dodge, Levine sold his Ferrari.

“He liked this better,” Sobel said.

Formerly a race car driver, Sobel has been a car enthusiast for most of his life. Their Dodge, named “Jurutha” by Sobel’s wife, is the first restoration project for Sobel and Levine.

The two of them took the vehicle to Silver States Industries, a prison just outside of Las Vegas, to have the work done.

“We’re basically cheap, and to restore it (in regular shops) would have cost three times as much as what the prison was,” Levine said.

Since then, Sobel and Levine have taken the Dodge to car shows all over the United States, and to Calgary, Canada.

Onstage at Milford Street, “Mr. Rock N’ Roll” himself, Brian Beirne, hosted live entertainment throughout Cruise Night.

Surfin, a Beach Boys tribute band, Desperado, an Eagles tribute group, and the Surfaris, known for the classic hit “Wipe Out,” fittingly set the tone with the classic sounds of surf and rock, bringing back a bit of nostalgic Americana as observers swayed and danced to the music.

“I love the mix of people. It’s a great cultural mix built around a love for mid-century cars. It doesn’t get better than this,” said Los Angeles resident Duff Marlowe.

This was the first year Glendale Cruise Night expanded its lineup to include motorcycles.

Though not technically a classic bike, crowds were drawn to local comic Michael Passion’s 2003 blue Harley Davidson Softail, essentially a “constructed chopper,” Passion said.

Both adult motorcycle enthusiasts and children were captivated by Passion’s real crocodile skin seat and full-face helmet designed to look like a skull.

Passion has been in love with motorcycles since he was 6 years old. Though his wife wants him to get rid of his bike, Passion maintains, “It’s my getaway. It’s the freedom, it’s the wind, the sound, and the bad ass comes out of every man.”

Source: Glendale News-Press

 

By Danielle Directo-Meston

Hardcore fitness fiends have scored another happy place for performance wear. Sweat gear stalwart Under Armour debuted its first West Coast flagship a few months back at Glendale’s Americana at Brand, finally bringing its high-tech fabrics and wearables to LA in one massive space.

The 10,000-square-foot store houses the athleticwear company’s full range of apparel, accessories, and footwear for women, men, and youth. In addition to offering merch for everything from yoga and running to golf and soccer, the shop stocks fitness tracking devices that sync up with the brand’s Connected Fitness social community.

Source: Racked LA

 

By Katie Kelly Bell, Special for USA TODAY

Yelp’s list of the Top 100 Places to Eat in the U.S. for 2016 is a study in diversity, featuring everything from Michelin-starred fine dining establishments and family-run cafes to worker-owned collectives and barbecue joints. The broad range of cuisines, price points and styles reflects a growing national curiosity about food and dining out — which is great news for America.

The winners were determined using a combination of factors including ratings and total number of reviews. According to Yelp, “only reviews written by users whose profiles list their home location as within the reviewed businesses’ country were factored into the ranking.” In contrast to last year’s ranking (which was mainly based on a restaurant’s recent performance), this year’s list is a more comprehensive look, taking into consideration rankings and reviews that go back to the founding of Yelp in 2004.

Taking the number one slot is Porto’s Bakery and Café in Burbank, Calif. — a family-run business started by Cuban immigrants with multiple locations. Not far behind, at No. 19, is Alinea, a three Michelin star-rated fine dining restaurant in Chicago. Clearly California diners like to rate their experiences more than the rest of the nation, as almost 50 of the top 100 restaurants are based in California, followed by a high density of wins from New York and Las Vegas.

Three places merit attention as Hot and New according to Yelp. These are restaurants that appear on the Top 100 List for the first time having received a large number of positive reviews despite being new to the dining scene: No. 25, Adobo Taco Grill (Lakewood, Calif.), No. 27, Mr. BBQ (Fullerton, Calif.) and No. 60 Rockfire Grill (Mission Viejo, Calif.).

While many might argue the steakhouse experience is No. 1 in the hearts of American diners, based on this list it appears the American palate is evolving towards a passion for barbecue (nine winners), tacos (six winners) and a range international cuisines. See the full list here.

Source: USA TODAY

 

By Danielle Directo-Meston

The Americana at Brand’s latest directory additions are brought to us by the letter ‘T’. As mentioned, the outdoor Glendale lifestyle center has nabbed TOMS’s second-ever LA boutique, which officially arrives this Thursday.

Landing next door to Tumi, the shop will stock a seasonally-curated selection of the charitable Venice-born brand’s footwear, bags, and eyewear for women, men, and kids, including its classic canvas slip-ons, sandals, beach-ready backpacks, and more.

The store arrives in time to celebrate TOMS’s 10-year anniversary, which the label will toast this Saturday at the Americana’s lawn. Swing by from 1 to 4pm for family-friendly games, photo booths, and DIY shoe decorating stations. In addition, Disney-bred band Forever In Your Mind will be hitting the stage with a medley of hits; following their performance, the group will stick around for a meet-and-greet.

Source: Racked LA

 

By Danielle Directo-Meston

Japan-bred, Pasadena-based designer Tadashi Shoji may dress stars and Rose Queens, but his figure-flattering silhouettes are beloved by all. The red carpet gown guru’s already stocked at department stores like Nordstrom and Bloomie’s, but his concept shop at Glendale Galleria will offer quite a different experience, as you can see in the rendering blow.

Opening next Wednesday to Superdry on the first floor, the 2,200-square-foot space will feature experimental installations “aimed at elevating the customer experience.” As far as the goods, expect to find Shoji’s artful embroidered eveningwear, inventive dresses, and more luxe creations ($398 and up).

Source: Racked LA

 

 

Three projects are part of plan to make the city a ‘destination.’

Asix-story boutique hotel proposed in downtown Glendale was unanimously approved by the city’s Design Review Board earlier this month.

The 85-room hotel along 1100-1108 N. Brand Blvd. would require the demolition of several existing buildings including the Recess Eatery, a bistro that serves craft beer and cocktails at 1102 N. Brand Blvd., according to the Burbank Leader. Because of this, the project required design board approval, though no other variances were required.

“This is still very early (in the planning process). The design review board looked at what the proposed design will be to make sure they’re not taking a square peg and forcing it into a round hole,” said Tom Lorenz, Glendale public information officer. “With the design review board approved, now it’ll go into the plan check phase.”

Proposed by Glendale’s Alajajian Marcoosi Architects Inc., the 65,000-square-foot hotel will feature a contemporary design, and have a primarily glass bottom floor. Typical amenities will include a restaurant, meeting rooms, a gym and a rooftop deck. It will also include a 15,500-square-foot parking lot that can hold 85 vehicles.

After going through the proper channels with the city, the boutique hotel will be one of several hotels currently under construction in Glendale. A $13 million Hampton Inn at 315 S. Brand Blvd. has been under construction since 2014 and is projected to be completed this year. Following behind that project is a Hyatt Place valued at $12 million that is scheduled to begin construction this year.

In other Glendale news, retail developer Caruso Affiliated has announced the remaining five tenants for its strip of street retail on South Brand Boulevard adjacent to the Masonic Temple and across from Caruso’s Americana at Brand.

The one-story, 9,750-square-foot building will accommodate five tenants, all national eateries.

New York-based Shake Shack Inc. already opened at 252 S. Brand Blvd. in December. The burger and milkshake chain is known for its antibiotic-free Angus beef burgers, an assortment of hand-spun shakes as well as beer and wine. Prices range from $5 for a shake to $10 for burgers.

In addition to Shake Shack, tenants will include Philz Coffee, a coffee shop that features 20 customized blends of coffee beans; Greenleaf Gourmet Chopshop, an organic salad and sandwich shop; fresh sushi restaurant Mainland Poke; and Eggslut, a chef-driven classic food eatery.

“Both the Americana and the Masonic Temple, signature properties in Caruso Affiliated’s portfolio, have played pivotal roles in revitalizing downtown Glendale and the company is building upon this momentum,” Paula Devine, mayor of Glendale, said in a statement. “By welcoming these innovative dining options for residents and visitors alike, Caruso Affiliated has again proven to have a unique understanding of the new energy of Glendale.”

According to Caruso, the shops will open this fall and patrons should be able to grab a meal at any eatery for $15 or less.

Caruso’s expansion along South Brand was approved and streamlined by the city in accordance with its Glendale Downtown Specific Plan, a set of standards for the revitalization of the area, according to Lorenz, the public information officer.

The city of Glendale has pushed to revitalize downtown, increase foot traffic and boost business and residential density. Caruso’s retail project could help those goals.

“Yes, it’s very good in Glendale right now. Glendale City Council has long had a vision for the downtown area in regards to a specific plan,” Lorenz said. “Since coming out of the recession, the city has been very aggressive in establishing goals and with that we see an influx of businesses and residential and transient properties coming online making Glendale more of a destination and that is why there is such a need for these hotels.”

Market Growth

Freshii, a health-inspired fast-casual restaurant based in Canada, is strengthening its market share in Southern California.

The franchise is expanding its presence in Los Angeles by opening eight new outlets this year, one of which is in the San Fernando Valley neighborhood of Woodland Hills – in addition to restaurants in Irvine, Pasadena, West Hollywood, Culver City and Brea.

According to the company, this expansion will make Los Angeles its fifth biggest market in the country.

Source: San Fernando Valley Business Journal

 

By Kristie Hong

The most popular dish at K Ramen. Burger. Beer. is the signature Lobster Ramen. At $15, the Lobster Ramen (pictured on the right) is the priciest item on the budget-friendly menu. The lobster ramen is made from 15-hour chicken stock, lobster butter, fish stock with a kimchi base. The bright red broth is topped with a perfectly cooked marinated soft-boiled egg, golden chives, and green onion and has a slightly spicy aftertaste. At $12, the Tonkotsu Style Pork Ramen (pictured on the left) is cooked for 12 hours with slow roasted pork belly with a soft-boiled marinated egg topped with ginger, nori (seaweed), and green onions. The ramen is served on a wooden plate. (Photo by Kristie Hang/LAist)

If you want to check out Katsuya’s new pop-up, you will need walk right through the Katsuya at the Americana. If you ask for a table, you will be told that it is a separate entity and pointed toward a black winding staircase that will take you to the second floor. This used to be private event space but today you can find a restaurant that is like a hipper, budget-friendly version of Katsuya.

It’s called K Ramen. Burger. Beer. and it’s specialty is everything L.A., according to chef Diego Di Lao. That translates to a menu focused on ramen, burgers, poke, and beer. The restaurant is modern, bare-bones, and no-frills. Even the menus are temporary paper pamphlets, which add to the pop-up’s hip ambiance. 

The new area transformed for K Ramen. Burger. Beer. is spacious and filled with a ramen bar, a balcony with a view of the Americana, a bar, as well as many communal tables. The entrance wall is lined with anime and manga drawings. There is also an extensive selection of Japanese brews, sake, and wine available on the menu as well as ice cream by the pint from Coolhaus. 

While a pop-up usually means that the concept will be short-term, manager Kim Gutierrez told LAist that as of right now, there is no end date set: “This is the very first K Ramen. Burger. Beer. pop-up, but certainly not the last. Miami is the next stop. We also have a vegetarian ramen in the works so there are constantly new dishes being revealed.”

LAist ventured to the secret pop-up to try its most popular dishes. One standout dish is their signature lobster ramen, whose broth is a combination of a 15-hour chicken stock, lobster butter, fish stock and a kimchi base. The bright red bowl is topped with a perfectly cooked marinated soft-boiled egg, golden chives, and green onion and has a slightly spicy aftertaste.

With the word “burger” in its name, you know the K Burger could not disappoint. The burger sports a half-pound of beef topped with Katsuya’s spicy creamy mayo sauce and caramelized onions, tomatoes, American cheese and the option for bacon and/or avocado. The burger is juicy and packed with plenty of umami flavor, with the caramelized onions sandwiched inside the meat itself. The melted cheese cascades down the side of the patty. For sides you can opt for tater tots topped with duck fat drizzle or French fries. The tots and the fries have a duck aroma and the duck fat drizzle adds a nice crunch.

With the poke craze still going strong in Los Angeles, K Ramen. Burger. Beer. has four different types of poke on the menu. The snapper in yuzu ginger sauce served over aonori sesame rice is a modern twist on a traditional dish and also incorporates another trendy L.A. food item—kale.

K Ramen. Burger. Beer. is located at 702 Americana Way in Glendale, (818) 741-2701.

Source: LAist

 

Arriving at the Americana at Brand

By Matthew Kang@eaterla

Tsujita, long regarded as one of the city’s best ramen shops, is opening its original Artisan Noodle shop inside the Americana at Brand in Glendale. It’s a major coup for the nearby suburb, as well as the fancy shopping mall, which already boasts Din Tai Fung and Bourbon Steak, and will shortly have Shake Shack, Mainland Poke, and Eggslut across the street.

The ramen shop will be placed along bustling Brand Blvd and hopes to open some time in the fall. No word on whether any elements of ANNEX, Tsujita’s heavier and even more flavor packed sibling across the street on Sawtelle, will arrive in Glendale. The “original” Tsujita Artisan Noodle features just one kind of Hakata-style tonkotsu, or richly flavored pork broth ramen, plus a fishier, umami-riddled tsukemen, or dip-style, noodle. What really elevates the ramen at Tsujita is the simplicity of each type, with near-perfect broth that would stand out even in Japan, plus fresh noodles made by Sun.

While there are plenty of exciting concepts opening on the block, Tsujita might be the one that’ll please the hardcore food enthusiasts. And the lines will surely commence right at opening.

Tsujita LA Artisan Noodle
The Americana at Brand
889 Americana Way
Glendale, CA 91210

Source: Eater LA

 

For further information contact:
Lily Duarte, Marketing Coordinator
310.323.9924 | lduarte@structuralfocus.com

Los Angeles-area, CA, June 3, 2016 — Structural Focus accepted the 2016 Excellence in Structural Engineering Award for The Masonic Temple project from the Structural Engineers Association of Southern California (SEAOSC). Caruso Affiliated partnered with the tenant, CBRE Group Inc.; architect, Gensler; contractor, W.E. O’Neil; and structural engineer, Structural Focus, to successfully transform the historic building into a state-of-the-art creative office space within the parameters of a significant landmark building. The renovation of The Masonic Temple was completed in December 2015. 

The Masonic Temple in Glendale, California, once stood as the tallest building on Brand Boulevard and has housed six different Masonic organizations since its opening in 1929. The building is listed in the Glendale Register of Historic Resources. It consists of four double-height  stories, each with a partial mezzanine, and a full basement. The building’s structure consists of a full structural steel frame encased in concrete.  

The Masonic Temple’s historic renovation was dictated by a fast-paced schedule that posed a challenge on a complex structural project. The 16 million dollar project was completed in approximately seven months from beginning of design to occupancy. As with any historic project, surprises arose, and each unforeseen problem required a quick turnaround. The contractor’s thorough documentation of unforeseen conditions and the architect’s flexibility in design, coupled with the structural engineer’s out-of-the-box solutions, are credited for the success of the project. 

STRUCTURE Magazine’s March issue featured an insightful article by Structural Focus Project Engineer, Brendan Ramos, S.E. and President David Cocke, S.E., F.SEI, F.ASCE. The Modern Temple: Making a Historic Monument Shine explains the transformation of the ‪historic‬ Masonic Temple in ‪Glendale‬ into a state-of-the-art office building.

Source: Structural Focus

 

Last month two notable office buildings sold in Glendale, a city at times considered the red-headed step child of the Tri-Cities submarket. These transactions bring into focus a market that deserves more credit than it currently gets.

Click here to view the CBRE Research report

Source: CBRE Research

 

From the Americana to the Museum of Neon Art, here are the 9 best places to explore and things to do in Glendale

While you won’t find many major attractions in Glendale, you will find plenty of history and a little bit of kitsch set against a beautiful mountainous backdrop. There are plenty of interesting things to do in Glendale if you know where to look, from an A-frame retro diner to a glowing off-the-beaten-path museum. So pick up a pastry from an Armenian bakery and start to explore these nine things to do in Glendale.

Brand Library & Art Center

When Miradero was constructed around the turn of the 20th century, its castle-like grounds were home to Glendale’s powerful Brand family. These days, it’s better known as Brand Park, a recreational and cultural hub nestled in a quiet Glendale canyon. At its center is the stunning Spanish, Moorish and Indian-inspired Brand Library. It boasts more than 110,000 items in its collection, many dedicated to music and the arts, and often hosts free exhibitions, concerts, screenings and lectures.

Forest Lawn Glendale

With its rolling green hills and replica European churches, Forest Lawn feels more like a fairy landscape than a traditional cemetery. Though some of old Hollywood’s elite—Lauren Bacall, Humphrey Bogart, Clark Gable, Sammy Davis Jr. and Mary Pickford—are interred in areas closed to the public, you can pay your respects to cultural luminaries like L. Frank Baum, Elizabeth Taylor, Michael Jackson and Walt Disney. Step inside of the free hilltop museum and you’ll find an impressive stained glass collection alongside temporary exhibitions, everything from the Old Masters to contemporary poster artists.

The Americana at Brand

This isn’t your average outdoor shopping mall. Thanks to its dancing fountain and light shows, complimentary San Francisco-style trolley rides and even luxury apartments, the retail concept is more entertainment than shopping mall. Designed and operated by the same team behind the Grove, the Americana’s alfresco dining areas and open grass fields cultivate a leisurely, joie de vivre experience. In addition to its 70-plus premier retailers, the Americana is becoming a dining destination thanks to the likes of Din Tai Fung and an increasingly trendy food scene.

Glendale Galleria

The longstanding Glendale Galleria is an old-fashioned indoor operation which counts its size as its greatest asset. The one-stop-shop spans three floors with a mix of familiar retailers and major department stores. Even after a shiny 2013 renovation, it’s hard for the mall to compete with the open-air splendor of the Americana across the street, but the Galleria does have one thing going for it: free parking.

Museum of Neon Art

Formerly located on the edge of Skid Row, MONA has relocated its collection of vintage, LA-based neon signs to a glowing Glendale home. Make sure to check out its popular Neon Cruise; the city becomes your museum on these popular double-decker bus tours that take you past illuminated Los Angeles landmarks. Sitting on the top of the bus will put you eye-to-eye with the gorgeous vintage theater signs on Broadway.

Alex Theatre

This 1920s Vaudeville and motion picture house brings the quintessential image of old Hollywood to Glendale. Enter the 1,450-seat theater, complete with Greek and Egyptian-style motifs, and you’ll want to throw on a mink stole and smoke a Virginia Slim. Grant your inner movie buff a night of excitement by attending one of the Alex Film Society’s screenings.

Moonlight Rollerway

This kitschy Glendale rink (it’s been open since 1950) holds a variety of events and classes: Saturday mornings, for example, are for children only, while Monday nights are only open to over-25s. Moonlight has rollerskates for hire, but not blades or inline skates. Regular roller skater? Buy a pair for you or your child at the rink’s “pro shop.”

Verdugo Mountains Open Space Preserve

You’ll find the entrance to this 244-acre preserve by Oakmont View Park, easily spotted by its twin tennis courts. Glendale’s lushly vegetated section of the park contains more than 2,300 mature trees as well as pedestrian and equestrian trails that lead into a 4,000-acre open space that stretches northwest into the Valley.

Verdugo Park

Glendale’s resident 36-acre park caters to locals with a baseball field, basketball court, playground, skate park and picnic areas. In the summer, it often hosts Street Food Cinema screenings.

Source: Timeout

 

By Mark Kellam

Oganizers of the 15th annual Taste of Downtown Glendale are getting ready to serve up food and fun along Brand Boulevard next week.

From 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. next Wednesday, ticket holders can pop into restaurants for samples, have wine or beer at designated locations and enjoy entertainment along Brand.

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The event is a fundraiser for Glendale Healthy Kids, which provides no-cost healthcare to children who have no access to insurance or are under-insured.

“The Taste of Downtown Glendale has become a much anticipated annual event which brings our community together for such a great cause,” said Peter Weir, board chair of Glendale Arts, in a statement.

Glendale Arts, which oversees the Alex Theatre, is partnering with Glendale Healthy Kids on the event.

Through Tuesday, presale tickets are $30 for adults with food only, $40 for adults for food and wine, $15 for children 6 to 9 years old and free for children 5 years old and younger.

On the day of the event, adult ticket prices go up $5.

“The Taste of Downtown Glendale not only highlights our evolving downtown scene, but unites the community in one common cause: raising money for the growing youth programs and health services in our city,” said Jason Roach, chairman of Glendale Healthy Kids, in a statement.

Source: Glendale News-Press

 

GLENDALE, CA – On Tuesday, March 22, 2016, Glendale City Council voted to authorize City Manager Scott Ochoa to enter an Exclusive Negotiating Agreement (ENA) with the Armenian American Museum to locate the developing project in downtown Glendale’s Arts and Entertainment District across from the Central Library.

The Armenian American Museum had been exploring the feasibility of building the Museum on City owned property across from Glendale Community College until late February 2016 when the Glendale City Council directed Councilmember Zareh Sinanyan and City Manager Scott Ochoa to formally present the new potential site to the Armenian American Museum Governing Board.

The Museum’s Governing Board held several meetings with Armenian American community organizations and representatives to consider the proposed location. It was concluded that the proposed 1.3 acres property in the heart of downtown Glendale near the corner of Colorado Street and Brand Boulevard would be an exciting and prominent location for the Museum. This location will enable the Armenian American Museum to realize its vision of a cultural campus that enriches the entire community.

During the City Council meeting on Tuesday, March 22, 2016, City Manager Scott Ochoa presented the City of Glendale’s vision for how downtown Glendale would be the best home for the Armenian American Museum and create a partnership between the City and the Museum.

Councilmember Vartan Gharpetian noted the synergy the proposed site would create between the Armenian American Museum and neighboring Central Library, Museum of Neon Arts, and The Americana at Brand. “This will be a landmark,” he remarked. “It will put Glendale on the map. It will bring more tourists and visitors to the area.”

Councilmember Paula Devine commended the Museum’s leadership and committee members on their progress and expressed her support for bringing the Museum to downtown. She added, “I feel this is a great location for everybody.”

Councilmember Zareh Sinanyan shared his vision for the Arts and Entertainment District and the integral role the Museum can play in the future of downtown Glendale. “I think the future is great and I think the Museum is going to be a large contributing factor,” he added.

Mayor Ara Najarian expressed his support for building the Armenian American Museum in downtown Glendale, calling it a “win-win for the community” and a “huge asset for the City.” Mayor Najarian and fellow Councilmembers present voted in favor of the proposal, initiating the first steps toward locating the Armenian American Museum in the heart of downtown Glendale.

“The community outreach process required by the City allowed us to find common grounds with other stakeholders and search for a better solution,” remarked the Armenian American Museum Executive Development Committee Chairman Berdj Karapetian, who has been spearheading the Museum project since its inception 2 years ago. “We are confident that the collaboration we have seen on this project with our neighbors and City government will continue and our collective efforts will enrich Glendale with a new cultural and educational venue,” added Karapetian.

********
The Armenian American Museum is a developing project in Glendale, CA, with a mission to promote understanding and appreciation of America’s ethnic and cultural diversity by sharing the Armenian American experience. When completed, it will serve as a cultural campus that enriches the community, educates the public on the Armenian American story, and empowers individuals to embrace cultural diversity and speak out against prejudice.

The governing board of the Armenian American Museum consists of representatives from the following nine regional Armenian American institutions and organizations: Armenian Catholic Eparchy, Armenian Cultural Foundation, Armenian Evangelical Union of North America, Armenian General Benevolent Union – Western District, Armenian Relief Society – Western USA, Nor Or Charitable Foundation, Nor Serount Cultural Association, Western Diocese of the Armenian Church of North America, and Western Prelacy of the Armenian Apostolic Church.

Source: MassisPost

 

By Ashley Soley-Cerro and Dave Mecham

East Coast favorite Shake Shack made its California debut Tuesday morning in West Hollywood.

“We’re stoked to finally join California’s one-of-a-kind burger culture,” said Shake Shack CEO Randy Garutti. “We’ve heard from fans across L.A. for years, and we’re humbled by the passionate response we’ve received so far. We invite all Angelenos to come out and see what makes Shake Shack so special.”

Known as a modern-day “roadside” burger stand with a cult-like following, the beloved burger joint offers Angus beef burgers, chicken, a vegetarian portobello burger, flat-top dogs, frozen custard and crinkle cut fries, according to a news release announcing the opening.

Shake Shack’s classic offerings, along with a few L.A.-only choices, were made available to those willing to face long lines at the West Hollywood location — located at the corner of Santa Monica Boulevard and West Knoll Drive.

More than 50 people were spotted eagerly anticipating an early lunch when the restaurant first opened at 11 a.m., and the line continued to grow from there.

It was unclear if Shake Shack’s parking lot was able to accommodate Tuesday’s crowds, but a dedicated lot is available east of the restaurant off Santa Monica Boulevard, the Los Angeles Timesreported.

The chain made its debut in Madison Square Park in New York City, and has since expanded across the U.S. and into other countries.

Two other California locations are now slated to open — including one in Glendale later this year, and one in downtown L.A. in 2017.

In addition to favorites found at other Shake Shacks, the West Hollywood location will offer the LA-Only Roadside Double — a double Swiss cheeseburger topped with Dijon mustard and onions simmered in bacon and beer.

And those with a sweet tooth will be able to enjoy frozen custard made in part from local favorites, including Larder Baking Company, Sqirl and Compartes.

Alcohol being offered includes Shake-Shack’s exclusive Shack Red and Shack White wines from California’s Frog’s Leap Winery and ShackMeister Ale from Brooklyn Brewery, along with other local craft beers.

And in sticking to its mission to “stand for something good,” 5 percent of proceeds from the Rainbow Connection dessert will be donated to one of West Hollywood’s most well-known events — LAPride, which the food location identifies as advocating for human rights, education, and equality for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.

An abstract mural by local artist Kim West also helps the new location celebrate “the ongoing art culture of West Hollywood,” and architecture by Michael Hsu Office of Architecture features dramatic overhangs, exaggerated horizontal and angular lines, as well as a patio shaded by wooden slats that aim to give the feel of sitting under a tree.

Source: KTLA

 

By Arin Mikailian

About a year after reopening on Brand Boulevard, the farmers market in downtown Glendale has closed due to poor turnout, and its future is unclear for now.

Every Thursday afternoon since last May, about two dozen vendors selling produce and homemade goods set up booths along Brand between California and Wilson avenues.

One of the goals was to capitalize on foot traffic from people leaving work in the area, but not enough of them showed up.

“We’re taking a break from the market for now because there has not been the community support that both we and the vendors were hoping for,” said Rick Lemmo, president of the Downtown Glendale Assn.’s board of directors, which organized the weekly market. “We never saw the market as a big money-maker. We hoped it would bring more people into the downtown area who would then shop and dine at other downtown locations after visiting the farmers market. It just has not worked as well as we hoped it would.”

The last farmers market was held on Feb. 25. The association will evaluate its options for the weekly event in the future, Lemmo said.

It’s the second time the market has been halted by the association, which took it over in 2013 after being handed the reins from the previous manager — the city of Glendale. Back then, the market was also on Brand but a bit south, between Wilson and Broadway.

The association moved the market to the parking lot of a church on Maryland Avenue, where a lack of customers forced its closure until the city gave approval to set up shop along Brand again.

Alan Janoyan, owner of JRC Coffee, one of the vendors who sold his products at the most recent location, said he thought the surge of mixed-use developments and new residents would have meant more customers.

But downtown isn’t quite there yet, he said.

“We haven’t seen that foot traffic yet,” Janoyan said. “Maybe in like a few years, we will get there. But they’re still building so much and there’s so much construction in Glendale. It’s kind of more [vehicular] traffic than it is foot traffic.”

Advertising that a portion of the farmers market would be in Chess Park — an alley fitted with concrete benches and a small performance stage — didn’t help either because most people don’t know where it is, he added.

Janoyan said he stopped going to the farmers market in December because of the poor turnout.

By the end, there were only about 15 vendors still setting up, said Tim Gallagher, a spokesman for the association.

City spokesman Tom Lorenz said the decline of the farmers market isn’t an indicator of how all of downtown is performing.

City Council members have stressed a mission to make Glendale an 18-hour city, where people can work and spend leisure time. People have made it clear they’re not interested in a downtown farmers market, Lorenz said.

“We’re not disappointed,” he said. “People are going to support what they want to support through their pocketbooks. There’s certainly no shortage of people in the downtown area.

Source: Glendale News-Press

 

 

24 acres of walking trails, event space, and greenery

By Bianca Barragan

Glendale’s plans to cap part of the 134 Freeway with a park are finally really starting to take shape. (There’s a plan to cap the 101 in Downtown and in Hollywood, plus a plan for a 60 Freeway cap in East LA and two 10 Freeway caps in Santa Monica, but none of those projects has moved very far in a long time.) New renderings for the cap park—Space 134—show what the 24-acre green space could look like, and give a better idea of how the park will be laid out, says Urbanize LA, citing a website from Glendale’s Community Development Department.

Working with the firm Melendrez, Glendale officials have created a concept plan that has the park set up as a kind of link between Glendale’s downtown area and its residential neighbors to the east. The segment of the park between Central Avenue and Louise would be oriented toward downtown, and would include a restaurant, a mobility hub with bike parking and rental facilities, and transit connections.

From Louise east to Balboa, in the more residential areas, there would be a playground, community centers, and sports courts. There would be three event spaces throughout Space 134, but the one in the downtown section could handle large-scale events like festivals. Much-desired walking trails will run the length of the cap park.

Space 134 will eventually extend for a .7-mile length of the freeway between Central and Balboa avenues, but will be built in phases, with the first phase to be built between Central Avenue and Brand Boulevard. Glendale’s planning on private and public funding sources to help pay for the cap park, which it hopes to start construction on after 2020.

Source: Curbed LA

 

By Chris Nichols Art, L.A. History, Urban Development

The Museum of Neon Art finally opened their new home in Glendale on Saturday night with a gala party that filled the galleries, classroom and super cool pop culture gift shop. The organization was founded in downtown Los Angeles in 1981 to preserve historic signs and exhibit new examples of electric and kinetic art. Opening night revelers spilled out across “park paseo,” a new outdoor terrace that connects the Americana at Brand shopping mall, the Glendale library, and Central park.

The museum replicated one of its largest signs, a leaky neon faucet that once graced Westwood Boulevard, as the centerpiece of the new park. The new space is devoted mostly to contemporary artworks, but it was great to see old neon friends like the Van de Kamp’s windmill and a flashing Chevy “OK” sign. The dress code was electric and I spotted an illuminated handbag from Burning Man, MONA neon cruise tour guide Eric Lynxwiler wearing a luminescent tie, and a three-dimensional neon camera around the neck of Michael Flechtner, the artist who created the “Celebrate” neon stamp for the post office. The Lightning String Quartet provided entertainment with electrified instruments straight out of a Busby Berkeley musical. Check it out here.

Source: Los Angeles Magazine

 

By Crystal Coser

The concept mashes up everything that is currently trending.

K Ramen. Burger. Beer., an extension of the Katsuya brand, is popping up on the second floor of Katsuya in The Americana at Brand. Opened February 9, K Ramen offers a menu of budget-friendly bites, with nothing priced over $15.

On that menu is a mash up of just about everything that is trending right now in LA. That means you can expect plenty of ramen, burgers, pokes, and a list of Japanese brews to round it out. Menu highlights include lobster ramen with marinated egg, spicy creamy tuna K Poke, and small bites like calamari with wasabi cocktail sauce.

With an expansive patio that boasts views of The Americana’s pretty fountains, it should be a solid family-friendly option in this part of town. K Ramen. Burger. Beer is open Friday through Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sunday through Thursday from 11:30 a.m.
to 9 p.m.

Source: Eater LA

 

By Juliet Bennett Rylah

After shutting down its downtown L.A. location in 2011, the Museum of Neon Art is glowing again at a brand new location in Glendale. The museum officially opened last night, and included musical performances and a bevy of neon. One exhibit, called It’s About Time, features a collection of neon clocks, while Illuminations features neon artwork from over two dozen artists.

Visitors can also check out the museum’s iconic neon diver fixed to the building and find the Clayton’s Plumbing sign in the paseo—that one illustrates a dripping faucet.

MONA also offers their Neon Cruise, where passengers will be taken on a guided tour to explore and learn about the best neon signs around town. Check their website for more details and tour times.

MONA is located at 216 S. Brand Blvd. in Glendale, 213-489-9918

Contact the author of this article or email tips@laist.com with further questions, comments or tips.

Source: LAist

 

By Lisa Dupuy

Shopping mall snack bars come and go. I don’t pay much attention to food court eateries and mall kiosks mainly because I’m not a shopper. But recently I heard about a stand called Enjoyer inside the Glendale Galleria serving organic Lithuanian popsicles. I checked it out and found more than one new food gem.

To be clear, the popsicles themselves aren’t Lithuanian, but Enjoyer’s founders, Paulius and Virginijus, are Lithuanian natives. They bring a handcrafted sensibility to their chilly treats. Fruits and other organic ingredients come from local farmers’ markets. Each popsicle is handmade in an East Los Angeles kitchen 48 hours before being placed in the Galleria display case. They stay there no longer than a couple days.

Paul, as he likes to be called, is earnest about making the best product he can. The flavors evolve according to personal and public response. Samples of all the flavors are free to try. After enjoying chunks of the mango, cheesecake with nuts, and dark chocolate flavors, I finally decided on a pistachio gelato popsicle. A deep green color, the natural, nutty taste combined well with the smooth, rich ice cream. The husband opted for the passionfruit sorbet popsicle. Fantastically tangy, it boasts 70% fruit. The texture on both was perfect, soft enough to bite into but hard enough to hold together all the way down to the popsicle stick.

Why the name Enjoyer? According to Paul, their motto is: 70% Fruit + 30% Smile = 5 minutes of Joy. Come by the stand near JCPenney and try a chocolate-dipped coconut, an organic strawberry, or maybe a “Whatever.” They’re low-ish in calories, all natural (except for the blue vanilla for the kids) and just $4. That’s a decent deal for five minutes of joy.

Two other eateries also opened recently in the Galleria. Green Crush, a Southern California mini-chain, is making quite a splash. Social media savviness is part of the attraction, but these drinks are really refreshing. Here again, mall shoppers can stop by and try free samples of their various agua fresca-like concoctions. The colorful, icy creations lined up in oversized glass barrels with all manner of fruits and some vegetables floating in them look irresistible to start with. The cooling sips are icing on the cake.

But it was their signature drink, the Picante Mango, that sold me. A spiral of thin mango slices dipped in a spicy-sweet mixture similar to Tajin seasoning grace the top of a tall cup. You eat one in between sips of the icy, spicy mango-water mixture underneath, a drink that miraculously gets better as the ice melts. It seemed to last me two hours, making Green Crush’s Picante Mango ($6) a good choice for walking the mall.

When you finally do get hungry, consider stopping in at the new Bibigo in the Galleria food court. It’s your standard build-your-own-Asian-bowl place but this time with Korean flavors. There’s the rice or noodle base and the grilled meat (such as bulgogi or spicy pork). The sides and sauces are unique: mixed beans, kimchi, pickled Asian slaw along with the spicy KoHot, citron soy and sesame sauces. I recommend piling on the sesame seeds, crispy garlic and seaweed toppings. You can even add a fried egg for one dollar, although they look a little scary sitting, pre-cooked, on a griddle.

Bowls are $7.95 plus tax. Don’t bother with the hot stone bowl for $1 extra. It’s nowhere near as fresh as a sizzling hot pot at a Korean restaurant, but it’s a healthy choice for mall food.

What: Enjoyer, Green Crush and Bibigo

Where: Glendale Galleria, 100 W. Broadway, Glendale

LISA DUPUY welcomes comments at LDupuy@aol.com.

Source: Glendale News-Press

 

By Arin Mikailian

After taking out expenses, the Alex Theatre reported a $148,000 gain in its latest quarter, far outperforming its six-figure deficit the historic venue faced the same time a year before.

The net amount is for the theater’s first fiscal-year quarter between July and September 2015, while the Alex was $124,000 in the hole in the same time frame in 2014.

The gross amount was $430,000 before staffing and other expenses were taken into account, according to a city staff report.

A stronger fundraising effort and booking more productions over the summer — typically considered a slow time of the year — were some of the improvement factors, said Elissa Glickman, chief executive of Glendale Arts, the nonprofit that oversees the Alex.

There was a year-long goal to get 220 bookings, and there’s already 183 of them with six months to go, she said.

Part of the stronger showing can be attributed to a $5-million face-lift the venue underwent in the past year, Glickman said.

“The expanded space made sense to [productions] in terms of how many people we can accommodate in the green room and the amount of time we can reduce with our loading dock and freight elevator is a two-fold benefit,” she said in a phone interview.

It was the first major renovation project since 1993 for the 1,400 seat theater.

The Alex Theatre used to receive an annual $415,000 allocation from the city’s Redevelopment Agency, which was shuttered by the state to trim a multibillion dollar budget crisis in 2012.

The financial obligation was then transferred to the city, which is aiming to reduce its annual contribution to $150,000 in five years.

Cassandra Pruett, an administrative officer with the city, told the City Council on Tuesday the Alex is on track to meet that goal.

“Glendale Arts is at full throttle in their efforts to improve their self-sufficiency and these efforts remain strong,” she told council members.

Pruett added that the latest quarter was the most successful the Alex has had since 2008.

There was also support from donors, who contributed more than $65,000, which fully paid for the 90th anniversary celebration for the Alex held in September.

Other than the anniversary event, there currently is no original programming on the schedule, but there will be talks about it soon, Glickman said.

“We’re looking into our own programming,” she said. “Whether we feel confident that we can step back into productions and make them profitable is something the board [of Glendale Arts] is going to have to take into consideration.”

Source: Glendale News-Press

 

By Adrienne Alpert

GLENDALE, Calif. (KABC) — There’s a museum about to celebrate its grand opening, where the exhibits literally sizzle. It’s the Museum of Neon Art, which has its new home in Glendale.

Neon is where art and science intersect.

The museum space is not big, and they have a large collection, so exhibits will rotate.

The next show in April will exhibit more iconic commercial signs. All of this is made possible by the city of Glendale, which is undergoing a redevelopment boom. The Neon Museum is part of its plan giving Brand Boulevard a new look.

“We saw a great opportunity to move some city funds in, invite a great tenant … and together, we’re making this to be something that was much better than it ever could have been,” said Glendale Mayor Ara Najarian.

The Neon Museum had to move from its downtown space and find a location where fans would appreciate it. Their efforts are helping preserve pieces of neon that have been torn down for scrap.

Far from a dying art, the museum has a classroom and plans to teach the art of bending glass and filling it with gasses — a pursuit that probably hasn’t changed too much in 100 years.

The museum’s grand opening is next week, but the doors are already open for visitors Fridays and weekends.

For more information, visit neonmona.org.

Source: ABC7

 

By Karen Jordan, Bisnow, LA

Caruso Affiliated gave a tour last week of its swanky renovation of the old Masonic Temple in Glendale, which has been repositioned and has become the Valley HQ for CBRE, as Bisnow first reported here.
Rick Caruso and his Caruso Affiliated picked up the Masonic Temple (234 S Brand Blvd) less than a year ago. Caruso Affiliated bought the 1929 art deco building and renovated the 24k SF of office space with Gensler at the helm to create a workplace of the future, Gensler CEO Andy Cohen says. There were also hurdles the designers had to overcome, which included complying with guidelines outlined by the Historic Preservation Commission since the temple is a historic building.

Here’s Andy telling the crowd about the gorgeous reno.

There’s also a Google Liquid Galaxy screen that offers street views and details about available spaces around the world.

It now houses 120 CBRE employees who moved into the new office space on Jan. 4 from their building in Universal City. CBRE managing director David Josker says the city has been very supportive of bringing the building back to life.

CBRE employees also have all of Caruso’s concierge services at their disposal, which David says act as personal assistants.

The services include everything from filling up the gas tank of an employee’s car to picking up dry cleaning, delivering lunch, helping plan vacations and even scoring impossible Coachella tickets. VIP treatment at some of the premium restaurants across the street at the Americana at Brand is also part of the service, which is offered weekdays and weekends to CBRE staff and clients, according to David.

Here’s CB president of the Greater LA-OC region Lew Horne, who says a spot like this will help with attracting and retaining talent.

The building also has a “clean-desk policy” and a wall of lockers for employees to use to store their belongings. Shake Shack is the first announced tenant that will be in retail space on the ground floor. Other tenants—who will be housed in the building’s basement and on the second-floor mezzanine—have yet to be announced.

The building features stadium seating under a vaulted, original ceiling on the two-story-tall top floor.

There are also picture windows that aim to create a light, airy feel; a spiral staircase; and an environment in which there are no assigned offices.

Source: Bisnow

 

By Kevin Ferguson

The Museum of Neon Art has a long, storied history in Los Angeles.

Founded in 1981, the museum houses works of neon and electric art from artists all over the world. It also has restored vintage neon signs from businesses all over SoCal. For the neon signs that still stand today, MONA takes Angelenos on tours to check them out.

MONA’s massive collection has been on display around L.A. In years past, the museum found a home in downtown Los Angeles, then the Universal CityWalk and now in downtown Glendale this month. It’s right across the street from the Americana at Brand, developer Rick Caruso’s massive open air shopping center. “They need some neon desperately now,” said Eric Lynxwiler of the mall. He’s a spokesperson for the museum.

It’s true for all of Glendale and the rest of Los Angeles, too. The streets no longer hum with the buzzing of bright and bold neon. Decades have passed since that was the case. But take heart: you can find plenty at MONA; the new building features just a fraction of MONA’s enormous collection.

“And funny enough, the Museum of Neon Art was actually given a few of those neon signs from Glendale back in the 1980s when they said ‘eh, neon’s not too good anymore, we want to get rid of it,'” said Lynxwiler.

Today, MONA buzzes with relics from the neon’s past and present: a giant green frog in a coat and top hat that used to dance on the Bakersfield grocery store currently greets visitors in the lobby. On another side of the room, dozens of neon clocks cover the wall. There’s even a couple for sale, like this traveling salesman clock.

Inside the main gallery, you’ll find even more neon, but elevated to a fine art. Works here span decades and include portraits, installations and this thing.

Richard Ankrom’s “Tannenbaum” uses recycled neon tubes powered by a Jacob’s Ladder. “It’s a whole bunch of wires allowing electrical current to pass upward from one wire to another,” said Lynxwiler. “It’s basically allowing you to see trapped lightning.”

“And there it is, behind glass, thankfully,” he added.

Lynxwiler makes a simple pitch for MONA: more than any store at that mall across the street, the Museum of Neon Art has something for everyone. “It’s art, it’s science, and it’s also roadside Americana. It’s a little bit of everything for the family,” said Lynxwiler. “Come here, and take all the selfies you want, because your background is gonna be beautiful.”

Source: KPCC

 

By Bianca Barragan

The Museum of Neon Art’s collection has been jumping from place to place for a while now. In the last ten years alone, the museum was pushed out of its location in South Park (rising rents were to blame) to a spot in the Old Bank District. When it outgrew that space in 2008, some of the greatest hits of its collection were on display at Universal City Walk while a suitable new home was scouted, and now, finally, that home has been found in Glendale, right across from the Americana at Brand. This new location is approaching its official grand opening on February 6, says KPCC, but since it’s been open for limited winter hours for a while (Fridays and weekends only) some lucky folks have already gotten a sneak peek at some of the incredible pieces in the established museum’s new home, and you can, too.

The MONA was founded all the way back in 1981, and features neon art from around the world and the country; the highly Instagrammable neon diving girl on top of the building was once over a hotel in Mississippi. But there’s also signage from across Southern California, like “a giant green frog in a coat and top hat that used to dance on the Bakersfield grocery store,” which is now in the MONA’s lobby. There are even a few signs from Glendale that were given to the museum back in the Eighties “when they said ‘eh, neon’s not too good anymore, we want to get rid of it,'” a museum spokesperson told KPCC.

Source: Curbed LA

 

By Bianca Barragan

Americana at Brand owner Rick Caruso and his company, Caruso Affiliated, announced last spring that they were buying a lovely 1920s-era Masonic temple right across the street from the Americana with the intent of turning the historic structure into creative offices with a row of shops next door (an adjacent Shake Shack is in the works). And now, the first 110 workers (from commercial real estate firm CBRE, hence the signage) moved into the gloriously renovated space this month, and today, the repurposed Art Deco building officially opened, according to release for the project.

The building was designed by Arthur Lindley, whose firm Lindley & Selkirk designed the Alex Theatre a few blocks north of the temple. Now, fully updated, it includes a “vaulted cathedral-trussed penthouse” containing meeting space outfitted with stadium seating. Like a good modern workplace should, this one includes exposed concrete and “structural steel elements,” plus 18 new 20-foot-tall windows. (Previous reports had noted the “haphazard window pattern” of the building as it existed pre-renovation, going so far to call part of the structure “typically windowless.” Not a super-ideal workspace.) The elaborate concierge services that will provide tenants’ employees with everything from personal grocery shopping to a person who will pick up dry cleaning are accessed through the Caruso-developed “Masonic Temple app.”

Source: Curbed LA

 

 

By Arin Mikailian

A once vacant room overlooking downtown Glendale for decades on the top floor of the Masonic Temple on Brand Boulevard is now a sleek office space for a major commercial real estate firm.

“The floors that we’re standing on have not been occupied since 1957,” said Tom Veje, executive vice president of construction for Caruso Affiliated, which purchased the temple last spring. “It’s been almost 60 years since this space had enjoyed having an environment where people enlivened it.”

The development firm’s top brass — minus founder Rick Caruso — gathered Thursday in the nine-story building that just underwent a nearly yearlong “adaptive reuse” transformation.

Built in 1929 and designed by architect Arthur G. Lindley, who also conceived the look of the historic Alex Theatre just a few blocks north on Brand, the temple for a few decades was used by the Masons.

The only other use it saw from then on was performances produced by A Noise Within theater troupe.

Now, four floors of the building are offices for commercial real estate firm CBRE, which moved in earlier this month.

Lewis Horne, president of the firm in Los Angeles and Orange County, said the office is set up in a way that an employee can access their work from any desk they like: something he calls “free address.”

He said 125 employees currently work in the renovated temple, and, once the remodeling of two more floors is finished, the staff size will double.

Creating new office space, along with retail and housing, is crucial to the growth of the area, said Tim Gallagher, spokesman for the Downtown Glendale Assn.

“It’s really one ingredient in what makes a great downtown,” he said.

It’s the first office-space project for Caruso Affiliated. It seemed like a massive undertaking, but the company was granted a handful of approvals from the city’s Historic Preservation Commission and work got underway on major renovation efforts over the summer.

“I think the primary ability to get it done that quickly was that the bones of the building were very strong,” said David Williams, executive vice president of architecture for Caruso Affiliated.

For almost nine decades, the building has been around for major earthquakes, and it doesn’t show much wear and tear, Williams added.

From the outside, the most visible changes from the renovation are to the windows. To accommodate the secrecy of the Masons, the Masonic Temple had an unconventional window pattern — they were scattered around the sides of the structure in random order.

The Glendale Historical Society had some objections to changing the layout, but Caruso officials said some modifications had to be made to create usable office space.

Greg Grammer, the group’s president, said he’s glad the developer was able to maintain the look of the building’s front side.

“We’re pleased to see the front façade has been restored to look much closer to the building’s original appearance,” he said.

Eighteen, 20-foot-tall windows were cut into the sides of the structure.

The front façade didn’t need as many changes, so instead of new windows, existing ones were refurbished, Veje said.

He added that as many as 225 people worked on the restoration effort.

However, the basement, first floor and second floor remain unoccupied for the time being and could see a restaurant open in any of those spaces. There is a short list of potential tenants and a single one could take up multiple floors, Veje said.

That announcement is pending.

The Masonic Temple is located across the street from the Americana at Brand, another Caruso Affiliated project, which opened in 2008.

“To us, [the Masonic Temple] is a monument to the resurgence of Glendale,” Williams said.

Source: Glendale News-Press

 

CBRE’s offices in adaptive reuse project have no assigned seating

January 21, 2016 11:01AM

By Hannah Miet

There are 110 CBRE Group Inc. employees now working inside of what used to be an active Masonic Temple at 234 S. Brand Boulevard in Glendale.

Grove developer Rick Caruso, who is mostly known for his mall properties and full-service apartments, took on the office market last April when he acquired the nine-story 1929 landmark Art Deco building and restored it into a Class A open-floor-plan office with retail space. It is now home to CBRE’s North Los Angeles office, which relocated from Universal City.

Caruso’s development firm, Caruso Affiliated, also acquired two adjacent buildings and an adjoining lot which will soon be home to burger joint Shake Shack’s second West Coast location. All the retail is set to open by the end of the year. Meanwhile, CBRE employees are already settled into the office portion.

Caruso renovated the temple in less than 10 months after the start of its rehabilitation and redesign. It was, in part, by moving so quickly that he was able to secure CBRE as a tenant. The 24,000 square-feet space was designed by Gensler, with programming, strategy and change management done by CBRE’s Workplace Strategy group.The temple is the latest of 30 CBRE offices that doesn’t have assigned seating in favor of chic glass conference rooms that can be booked with an app, part of the firm’s “Workplace 360” initiative that was piloted in its Downtown L.A. headquarters to encourage collaboration across departments.

The Masonic office has a stadium-seating assembly area in the vaulted cathedral-trussed penthouse, and has exposed concrete and structural steel elements from the original building. There were 18 new, 20-foot-tall windows installed as part of the redesign.

The temple sits across the street from Caruso’s Americana at Brand mall property, and the developer is leaning on the businesses there to offer a concierge service to CBRE’s workers. Using the Masonic Temple app, which has a logo of the temple’s shape, CBRE workers can call a concierge to pick up and drop off their dry cleaning, fill their cars with gas, arrange for party planning and order deskside pedicures, among an array of other menu items. It’s a concept Caruso hopes to launch in more office buildings as he acquires them. He’s currently on the hunt for the next one.

“This type of office concept completely changes the conversation about work-life balance,” Caruso said in a release.

The Masonic Temple, originally completed in 1929 and designed by Arthur G. Lindley, had been without a permanent tenant for 30 years before Caruso’s acquisition. It had housed several Masonic organizations, a movie theater, a dance studio, night club and a classical repertory theater in the past. It is the first prominent adaptive reuse of a historic structure in Glendale and CBRE’s first office within an adaptive reuse project.

Lew Horne, president of the Los Angeles and Orange County region for CBRE, said in a release that the office serves a dual purpose of  showing the firm’s clients what can creatively be done with a space.

Glendale boasts a few other prominent employers, including DreamWorks and Nestle.

Source: The Real Deal

 

By: Arin Mikailian

A neon Clayton Plumbers sign illuminates the message “the leak stops here” above a new walkway near Brand Boulevard, a feature businesspeople and city officials say they hope will link numerous downtown venues.

Running at about 120 feet long, the Park Paseo is a half-wooden deck and half-concrete path that leads visitors off Brand Boulevard past the Museum of Neon Art to Central Park, the Adult Recreation Center and the Glendale Central Library.

Seating and drought-tolerant plantings cut through the center of the path.

More than a dozen city officials were on hand Tuesday for the grand opening of the path, which took more than a year and $2 million to build. Conceptual ideas for the linkage between local attractions dates back to the 1990s, but things didn’t really get moving until the Americana at Brand opened across the street.

“We’re hoping that [Park Paseo] activates and brings people out of the Americana to our Central Park, to our library,” said Mayor Ara Najarian. “We’ve got wonderful seating here. We’re going to have a great opportunity for people to relax and to take a break from the hustle and bustle of Brand Boulevard.

Helen McDonagh, who serves on the board of the Downtown Glendale Assn., said nearby merchants are thankful to have another major improvement in their part of town.
“We are so excited about the entrance to the Paseo being in our beautiful downtown area,” she said.

The addition of the paseo comes with 46 new parking stalls.

The sign — a replica of a sign belong to a defunct Westwood business — belongs to the Museum of Neon Art, which relocated from downtown Los Angeles to Brand. Its entrance lies on the paseo. Museum Vice President Eric Evavold said he’s thrilled to be part of a cultural corridor and hopes the path will see a lot of use.

“It’s like a handcrafted welcome right to our front door,” he said. “We hope the paseo will be discovered by everybody, not just skateboarders.”

The final piece of the puzzle will be the completion of the remodel of the Glendale Central Library, which will be sometime in early 2017.

Source: Glendale News-Press

 

Patricia Kirk, Bisnow, OC/SD

The Brand, a new nine-story mixed-use project by Holland Partner Group, has opened in downtown Glendale with a bit of pomp and circumstance. Bisnow caught up with Holland COO Tom Warren last week; he tells us about the company custom to combine an official opening with a resident party once a project has exceeded the halfway point in lease-up.

Tom tells us the property is a walkable location to live in Glendale, and there’s lots of employment in the area. With the addition of The Americana at Brand to downtown Glendale, he says the company knew the area would rapidly evolve into a desirable place to live.

till, Tom says the firm has been pleasantly surprised with the demand that materialized, noting the project began leasing in May and is now 50% occupied. Here’s a shot of the grand opening and ribbon cutting celebration earlier this month that drew nearly 400 people, including current and prospective tenants and Glendale city officials.

This 401-unit project is in the heart of downtown Glendale at 120 W Wilson Ave, just a block from both the Americana on Brand retail complex and Glendale Galleria.

Designed by the architectural firm Carrier Johnson, the LEED-Silver targeted complex is designed to appeal to a range of urbanites, including young creative professionals working in Glendale who want a highly amenitized lifestyle within an easy walk of retail and cultural amenities, as well as parks and recreation.

he project features a green rooftop with a saltwater pool, BBQ grills, and a terrace that offers spectacular views of Downtown LA and Glendale, Griffith Park and the Verdugo Mountains. There’s a spa and fitness center for each of the two buildings, including a two-story, 24-hour gym, FLEX and Core fitness centers with Fitness on Demand and a yoga studio; indoor and outdoor movie theaters; lots of gathering places for socializing; free everywhere WiFi; a wine cellar; an on-site pet run; and bike storage.

he podium-style project also has 10k SF of street-level retail that will open in January 2016 with a Tender Greens, quick service dining that offers healthy chef-inspired, locally grown dishes; Chipotle; and PizzaRev. “We are really pleased with the tenant grouping, because these are restaurants people will visit several times a week and makes a great additional amenity for our residents,” Tom says, noting employees from surrounding offices are also expected to frequent these eateries. Parking is available behind the retail and on two below-grade levels.

The project offers studio, one-, two- and three-bedroom units and live/work townhouses. Apartments average 850 SF, with the smallest unit being 600 SF, because that’s the minimum size allowable in Glendale. Apartments rent for just over $3/SF and feature polished-concrete or vinyl-plank flooring; stainless steel appliances and under-mount sinks; quartz countertops; vented, five-burner gas stoves in kitchens; and front-loading, energy-efficient washer/dryers.

Tom says the building offers a range of floor plans, noting that designs optimize every square foot for utility. “The goal is to offer efficient units where the smaller floor plans provide a lower price point and others attract renters at the high end of the market,” he says, pointing out that the two- and three-bedroom units are designed to appeal to people looking to lease luxury space or opting for roommate situations. “This gives residents who want access to the location, quality and amenities we offer a lower-cost alternative to a studio, if they’re willing to share.”

In developing residential projects, Tom says Holland likes to focus on the most walkable neighborhoods, because it believes these are the most desirable and will remain so over time. “We believe that as more people move into this neighborhood it will further energize downtown’s extensive retail and entertainment venues.”

Source: Bisnow

 

Patricia Kirk, Bisnow, OC/SD

Bisnow’s West Coast editor, Elliot Golan, led off our 3rd Annual Future of the Valley event last week, where he told the 300 in attendance all about the development transforming the region. He says mass transit and affordability are driving a resurgence in the Valley’s desirability. “Now it is possible to work in Downtown LA and have that house in the Valley with a white picket fence,” he said.

But Elliot says much is still missing in the Valley, including creative office and co-working spaces, providing opportunities for developers to fill in the gaps. Rick Caruso’s reclaiming of the Glendale’s historic Masonic Temple for creative office is the Valley’s first true creative space, and could set the stage for more. Here are Glendale city manager Scott Ochoa, Caruso Affiliated EVP Jackie Levy and Gensler principal Carlos Posada discussing the repositioning.

Jackie says Rick had a vision for transforming the building into the most service-oriented project in the country, adding that having the Americana at Brand across the street adds services and amenities built into the location. A concierge service could leverage this lifestyle retail center to provide any services or amenities desired by busy professionals to make their lives easier. “Our valet will fill up cars with gas, do grocery shopping, or any service tenants could want done while at work,” Jackie says. “If it’s legal, we’ll do it.”

Meanwhile, CBRE’s Valley office team was searching for a new space with the flexibility to create a “free addressing” and paperless environment similar to the CBRE HQ in Downtown LA. While the firm thought Glendale was a bit out of the way, CB managing director David Josker (here with Carlos) says when the brokerage received an unsolicited proposal from Caruso’s team offering an “amenities package never before seen in the office market,” the team reconsidered.

David says the space is ideal for the brokerage. “We have an 18-hour business day, so we needed a space that offered employees a place to work out, get lunch, maybe join their spouse for dinner and a movie, then come back to work.” The Masonic Temple space met all of those goals, but CBRE needed to vacate its present office in Universal City by Dec. 31. David was skeptical about whether Rick’s team could deliver a renovated space in time for the impending move.

The structure is an architectural gem, but had been vacant for 25 years and presented major challenges, admitted Jackie. Scott from the city (here with Elliot) says Rick called a meeting in February with all the key players to explain how this project could be done in time by reprioritizing.

“Our pain started early on,” said the project’s architect, Carlos. “I lost sleep with the insane schedule proposed. But we were very excited about the opportunity to reinvent this very unique space and because of the historic nature of it,” he said, noting that Gensler had a similar experience in repositioning its own office space in Downtown LA, which had sat vacant for 10 years. CBRE signed a lease in May and will take possession on Dec. 15.

Source: Bisnow

 

Americana at Brand developer expects to build one-story, five-tenant structure.

By Arin Mikailian, arin.mikailian@latimes.com

The developer of the Americana at Brand has filed an application to build a one-story building for retail use and restaurants across from the outdoor mall on the edge of downtown Glendale.

The project is the latest effort this year by Caruso Affiliated toward expanding its presence in the area.

Plans call for a commercial building at 238 S. Brand Blvd. — where the major artery meets Colorado Street — and room for five tenants, said case planner Roger Kiesel.

“This plan will further activate Brand Boulevard with exciting street-front retail, in a location that has been vacant for decades,” said Liz Jaeger, vice president of public relations for Caruso Affiliated.

The lot is situated next to the 1920s-era Masonic Temple, a nine-story structure Caruso Affiliated bought earlier this year and is in the process of restoring as office space.

Philip Lanzafame, the city’s community development director, said construction on the long-vacant lot next to the temple will add to the list of things visitors can do downtown.

“Any time you can create and continue the pedestrian interest is a good thing,” he said. “Business will feed off business and provide for more opportunities for people to enjoy something else in the downtown.”

As for having a one-story structure next to the Masonic Temple — where some of its office space will be leased by commercial real estate company CBRE — Lanzafame said the lower height will only further help the nearly 90-year-old building stand out.

“It will allow the Masonic Temple to be prominent and not get lost … You’ll have the building pop. It is the focal piece of that block,” he said.

Jaeger said tenants will be announced in the coming months.

Construction on the vacant lot is slated to start by the end of the year and wrap up by next summer, she said.

Kiesel said because the size of the proposed commercial structure is smaller than a cap outlined in the Downtown Specific Plan, it will only need approval by Lanzafame to move forward.

The vacant lot had only seen activity about once a year when it used to house a pumpkin patch for Halloween up to a few years ago.

As for the Masonic Temple, CBRE is expected to move in by the end of the year, and a lease is being finalized with a restaurant on the ground floor, Jaeger said.

Source: Glendale News-Press

 

Hundreds attend annual classic car event that was postponed due to July storms.

By Ryan Fonseca, ryan.fonseca@latimes.com

Downtown Glendale became a classic car haven Saturday when Cruise Night rolled into town.

The 22nd annual event brought out hundreds of car lovers, music lovers and families eager to enjoy the longtime summer staple.

As the sun sank behind the buildings, attendance climbed for the free event, which featured live music, food, games and, of course, rows of an estimated 400 pre-1980s cars.

Thunderbirds, Mustangs, Cadillacs, Rolls Royces, Corvettes and many more lined North Brand Boulevard from Milford Street down to Broadway.

Many car owners sat in chairs behind their prized rides, answering questions from onlookers.

“The main thing that comes up all the time: ‘How much? How much do you want to sell it for?’” said La Cañada resident Tony Croupe.

Croupe has been bringing his black 1969 Corvette Stingray T-Top to Cruise Night since the first year of the event.

In all those years, he says talking with the people continues to be his favorite thing about the event.

“I think it’s one of the best-run car shows around,” he said.

The annual showcase was originally scheduled for July 18, but organizers stalled the event due to the threat of lightning from a summer storm.

As music from stereos — and surf rock band the Chantays performing nearby — wafted down the street, one phrase punctuated the air with regularity: “Look at that one!”

Car enthusiasts and casual streetwalkers alike pointed out the eclectic mix of automobiles, sometimes ogling the engine, a creative paint job or a nice interior.

“I saw a green one over there and it was my favorite,” said 7-year-old Daniel Landaverde, who came to Cruise Night with his family from Fontana.

His younger brother Jacob had a tougher time nailing down a favorite, pointing out a few new answers to the question within seconds.

Their mother Corina said it was great to get out in the fresh air for the day, though her husband Elmer had other motivations.

“For him it’s cars,” she said as he smiled and nodded. “He’s taking lots of pictures.”

Plenty of classic cars were catching eyes, but one downright historic vehicle garnered a continuous stream of people and questions — Gary Hendrickson’s 1915 Model T.

The century-old car was rusted, had no upholstery and weeds were growing out of it, and for Hendrickson, a North Hollywood resident, that was a point of pride.

“The way I look at it, nobody goes to Europe to see the restored Coliseum, nobody wants to straighten the Tower of Pisa — it wouldn’t attract people — and nobody paints a picture of a brand-new barn,” he said. “That’s the premise of this car.”

He said he pieced the car together from authentic parts over the years, down to the wooden steering wheel and hand-cranked engine.

Hendrickson said the rescheduled event was not a problem for him, but he would have attended last month despite the storm, since a little lightning wouldn’t make a difference to him or his car.

“It looks like lightning has already hit it,” he said.

Source: Glendale News-Press

 

Neighborhoods in Los Angeles with panache? Silverlake. Yeah. Atwater Village. Sure. And Glendale. What?

You may not be aware that downtown Glendale has made a transition from sleepy to swanky over the past decade. Downtown Glendale is a safe, walkable, vibrant 18-hour urban district with all the jobs, housing, shopping, dining and entertainment one could imagine.

It is “green,” with an emphasis on transit and “park once and walk everywhere.” Most importantly, it has created ever-increasing profits for property owners and businesses, and ever-increasing sales tax and property tax dollars for local governments.

And it is a replicable model for many cities and retail districts in Southern California.

Cities are struggling. They have lost redevelopment agency dollars. Many cities are running out of developable room to create sources of sales tax revenue.

Downtown Glendale had some vacant space, but a major portion of its recent transformation involved reusing property that was not making a contribution.

During this past decade, Glendale faced other challenges as well. Like many local communities, Glendale was a mostly neighborhood city. The idea of concentrating thousands of new housing units downtown raised a lot of eyebrows. Density was new.

Additionally, most of the development and developers came from “out of town,” risking resentment from locals.

Glendale overcame these challenges through extensive outreach and dozens of community meetings. In November 2006, the city council passed the Downtown Glendale Specific Plan. It aimed to promote quality development, create an 18-hour downtown district that protected the residential neighborhoods from commercialization and adopt a mobility plan to fight traffic congestion.

One major portion of the plan created a programmatic environmental impact report. This meant that all residential development occurred under the umbrella of one EIR, rather than asking for separate, costly and time-consuming EIRs for each project.

Harder to quantify, but just as important, was a change in attitude that occurred when city employees began to welcome businesses as partners.

What are the results of the plan?

More people. Approval of nearly 4,000 residential apartments and condos. Currently there are 3,100 built in some of the most intriguing and award-winning architectural styles anywhere in the country. More units are on the way.

More culture. Creation of a Downtown Arts and Entertainment District, flanked by the new Museum of Neon Art and the 90-year-old Alex Theatre. Another new arrival to the scene is the talented Antaeus Theatre group, which will relocate from North Hollywood to Broadway – as in the street named Broadway in Glendale.

More shopping and dining. A major burst of shops – both large and small – started with adding The Americana at Brand to the Glendale Galleria. That gave shoppers unprecedented choices, with major merchants such as Bloomingdale’s, Nordstrom, Barnes & Noble and The Apple Store, to name just a few. The Americana is one of the top 15 retail centers in the nation when measured by sales per square foot. And smaller family-owned stores and restaurants are thriving. Porto’s Bakery, for instance, launched its success from Glendale.

The Downtown Glendale Association of property owners has contributed by taking ownership of the farmers’ market and supplying it with a group of uniformed workers who keep the streets clean, offer directions and parking meter instructions and help shoppers and their bags get to their cars.

Sales tax generated in the district has grown from $3.9 million in 2008 to $5.3 million this year and is projected to rise to $6.5 million by 2019. Retail occupancy has grown to 98 percent in the district. Office occupancy is at 86 percent.

And success breeds success. Caruso Affiliated, which operates The Americana, recently purchased the Masonic Temple on Brand. This 9-story property had been under-utilized for decades, but now will house 68,000 square feet of mixed use commercial, restaurant and retail space.

We urge any city looking to replicate the Downtown Glendale plan to look at three things we have done:

Eliminate the gross receipts tax on business. It’s a short-term pain exchanged for a long-term gain.

Embrace millennials. We made it attractive for people who don’t want a lawn with a picket fence to live in a very cool place. Density is good.

Commit to making the city walkable and safe for pedestrians and cyclists. We sacrificed the almighty auto on this altar because we wanted people on our streets.

Given the challenges of traffic congestion, demands from the state and federal governments and business competition, cities need to work harder than ever to keep their downtowns vital and growing. Our plan came together in Glendale. We’ll be happy to share it with you.

Rick Lemmo is president of the Downtown Glendale Association and senior vice president for community relations for Caruso Affiliated.

 

Vendors express happiness with increased turnout following market’s return to Brand Boulevard location.

By Arin Mikailian, arin.mikailian@latimes.com

A gloomy June wasn’t the best start for drawing crowds to the renewed Brand Boulevard farmers market, but with the summer sun settling in more people are stopping by, and vendors say they’re happy with the turnout.

Alan Janoyan, owner of JRC Coffee, said things have picked up since the Downtown Glendale Market relaunched two months ago on the city’s main thoroughfare between California and Wilson avenues on Thursdays.

“We’re getting a lot of regulars,” he said. “We’re getting consistent customers, so that’s what we like about it. We’re going to use that foundation to build.”

For nearly 20 years, the market used to be set up a block south on Brand. When the Downtown Glendale Assn. took over the weekly event, it moved it to the parking lot of a church on Maryland Avenue in early 2014, but attendance dropped sharply.

After shutting down for six months, the market reopened with an almost entirely new lineup of vendors — a mix of traditional produce sellers and small boutique businesses like Janoyan’s and Lucky Cow, a Monrovia-based jerky manufacturer.

Co-owner Jeremy Leal has sold his beef jerky at other farmers markets in the San Gabriel Valley and so far enjoys setting up his booth in Glendale, but notes the difference in the Jewel City.

“It’s more of like an urban setting, all of the other settings were more like a suburbia-style setting,” he said. “This is more business class.”

And that’s what the association is banking on to make the revamped market a success.

The event used to run from mid-morning until the early afternoon, but the hours are now 2 to 7 p.m. in hopes of enticing downtown employees who get off work and might want to do a little bit of shopping on the way home.

Stacy Hampton, representing her family almond and walnut business, the Hampton Ranch, said she’s also seeing more and more families strolling along Brand in the early evening hours. She said she’s got a few returning customers herself, including a grandma who buys snack packs of Hampton’s almonds and sneaks it into her grandchildren’s school lunches.

Tim Gallagher, the association’s spokesman, said there’s more foot traffic now compared to the church parking lot, and he’s glad about that. While there is room to draw in even more people, the goal isn’t to make money.

Previously, the association received a percentage of sales from each weekly farmers market. Under the new management team, Calabasas-based Raw Inspiration, which operates many markets throughout the Los Angeles-area, vendors pay a flat rate.

“To us, it’s not really a matter of sales going up or down, it’s more of how many people enjoyed it, how many go to experience it this week,” Gallagher said.

Making a profit, however, is important to Janoyan and his home business. Though he’s not making as much as he’d like to right now, Janoyan’s grateful for the returning customers, especially since Glendale is his hometown.

“We’re committed to the market,” he said.

Source: Glendale News-Press

 

Renovation work will increase capacity at the theater space to 80 seats, as well as a black-box theater.

By Arin Mikailian, arin.mikailian@latimes.com

A 7,600-square-foot former computer store in downtown Glendale will be renovated and transformed into a theater venue for classic productions, which could begin as early as September 2016.

North Hollywood-based Antaeus Theatre Co. has announced plans to move to 110 E. Broadway, where it will upgrade from a 50-seat theater to an 80-seat venue, said co-artistic director Bill Brochtrup.

There will also be a smaller 40-seat black-box theater, a classics library and room to run arts-education programs, he said.

A groundbreaking ceremony for the new theater was held on Thursday.

Bringing some theatrical standard plays and lesser known works to Glendale will be the end product, Brochtrup said.

“We do classical theater, a broad stroke of what’s been a mixture of Shakespeare and Chekhov … as well as hidden gems that are by writers that aren’t as well known,” he said.

There’s a combination of reasons why the decision was made to move to Glendale, including the upcoming opening of the Museum of Neon Art, the 70-unit Arts Colony, which is an affordable housing project for artists, and the proximity to the legendary Alex Theatre.

“We felt that this was a great fit for us,” he said.

The Alex Theatre is a larger venue capable of presenting more elaborate productions. But that doesn’t mean it would keeping live theater-goers away from the Antaeus.

“When you’re creating a vibrant downtown, there’s a lot of elements to it — shopping, restaurants, but also culture, and Antaeus has a superb reputation for doing great small theater, and we think they’ll be in concert, not competition, with the shows at the Alex,” said Tim Gallagher, a spokesman for the Downtown Glendale Assn.

The renovation is expected to last roughly a year, with production rehearsals following.

In addition to plays, Brochtrup said, Antaeus will also be hosting free play readings throughout the year.

“I don’t anticipate there being a dark night once we get going,” he said.

Source: Glendale News-Press

 

By Bianca Barragan

Americana at Brand developer Rick Caruso has a plan to convert a former Masonic temple, originally built in 1927, into a mixed-use complex fusing groundfloor retail and restaurants with creative office space upstairs and, when it was announced in early April, it seemed like just another adaptive reuse project of a handsome old building. Now it’s revealed that it will actually be uniquely over the top. Bloomberg has details on some of the next-level amenities that will be available to the future tenants, beginning with concierge services. “After a long day at the office, you want us to pack a couple of steaks and a bottle of wine in your car? It’s done,” Caruso says. Caruso will be the first office landlord to offer “five-star concierge service.”

All the crap that everyone hates doing can be handed off to someone else, who will have it done before the workday ends. All the tenants’ employees will be able to get their car washed, their drycleaning picked up or dropped off, their parties planned, and their groceries shopped for by someone other schmuck. Yes, there are already companies that provide these services for people, but do they do it for free? Because these ones will be offered free of charge, without any concierge fees tacked on. Aside from having to pay for the goods themselves (groceries, dry cleaning), employees won’t have to fork over anything for the time-saving perk—the cost of which will be built into the rent.

Caruso says the services will be easy to provide because he happens to own an entire shopping mall across the street from this property (Americana at Brand). He also hopes to offer more little luxuries, like “translation services, access to The Americana’s movie theater for meetings, and in-office manicures and pedicures,” available by the year’s end. By basically giving employees their own assistants, the idea is that those workers will have more time to get home and hang out with their families—or, more realistically, stay at the office and work). “In addition, what I am getting out of it is 200 more new customers right across the street, walking over, using my restaurants, using my services,” Caruso says.

Source: Curbed LA

 

Venue returns to Brand Boulevard after a year at a different location.

By Arin Mikailian, arin.mikailian@latimes.com

The newly relocated Downtown Glendale Market brings a variety of small home businesses to Brand Boulevard, including Andrea Fuentes and her “cooffins.”

She and her dessert, which blends together a cookie and muffin, are new to Glendale, and so far she and other vendors are optimistic that being on the key downtown artery will attract a good number of customers.

“There’s a lot of foot traffic and people wandering around because there’s so many other things going on on this street,” Fuentes said on Thursday.

This was the second week the farmers market popped up on on Brand, between California and Wilson avenues. Before that, it spent less than a year in a church parking lot a block away, where it struggled to attract customers because of low visibility.

When the Downtown Glendale Assn. took over the market, it moved the weekly gathering of produce and homemade goods vendors from Brand, where it had taken place for two decades, to the church parking lot on Maryland Avenue.

The return to Brand, as well as setting up booths inside Chess Park — an alleyway converted into a pedestrian walkway with seating — is seen as a welcome move by vendors.

Alan Janoyan owns JRC Coffee, a home-roasting business, and is new to selling his brews at farmers markets.

With the impending arrival of new multiunit residential developments and new businesses downtown, he said now might be the right time to experiment with selling home-brewed coffee on the streets of Glendale.

“It’s an opportunity to see if Glendale will be open to this coffee… from what I can tell, there’s been a good interest in it,” Janoyan said.

The market has about 20 to 25 vendors, and the goal is to have 30, said Tim Gallagher, a spokesman for the association.

Like its previous iterations, this market is split between produce vendors and people who sell homemade goods.

Local resident Josey Jaramillo had been to the Maryland Avenue market and called that one more spacious, but likes the mix of produce and artisan vendors at the new site. She was leaving the market carrying a bag with three tubs of homemade hummus and pita bread.

“I like farmers markets that are all produce, but they have a lot of good cookies and yogurt,” she said.

Aside from the venue change, there are a few other new features, such as a small stage for live music.

However, the biggest change is the hours of operation. When on Maryland, the market was open from the morning until about 1 p.m. Now the market opens at 2 p.m. and closes at 7 p.m.

The goal behind revising the schedule is to attract professionals in the area, especially when they get off work, Gallagher said.

Janoyan said he’s already seeing the new hours working between the sales of his product, customers at a nearby cookie vendor and people sitting at the scattered tables and chairs.

“This is a great place, [where] people can come down from their office and have a seat and enjoy a drink,” he said.

Source: Glendale News-Press

 

Flower statues are put on display along both sides of Brand Boulevard.

By Arin Mikailian, arin.mikailian@latimes.com

Spring blossomed on Brand Boulevard literally overnight recently as a dozen oversized flower statues were put on display along both sides of the main downtown street.

The petunias, which stand at about 5 feet tall, were commissioned by the Downtown Glendale Assn. in its latest seasonal public outdoor art display.

They will remain on the sidewalks through sometime in May, said Tim Gallagher, the association’s spokesman.

Petunias themselves don’t have much of a connection to Glendale, Gallagher said, but they do a good job representing what springtime is all about.

“I think, for the most part, you look in downtown and see asphalt and cement, then you see something that makes you smile,” he said. “That’s what we’re trying to do in downtown Glendale, is to make it a more welcomed and friendly environment.”

While the sculptures have been well-received by most for adding some color, others joke that the oversized flowers remind them of Audrey II, the blood thirsty alien plant from “Little Shop of Horrors,” Gallagher said with a chuckle.

Though that’s still a sign that people are enjoying them, he said.

The statues, which cost the association about $18,000 and are scattered from the Ventura (134) Freeway to Colorado Boulevard, have gotten gym patrons at Crossfit 818 talking when they arrive for their workouts.

Armen Amirian, manager of the gym at Brand and Milford Road, said he and his runners cross paths with the flower sculptures all the time as they trek through downtown. He said he appreciates the effort to distinguish Glendale’s downtown from other cities.

“It adds some character … our routes around our block go up and down Brand, so it’s cool to see something new,” he said. “It’s definitely started conversations.”

The flower display is the third seasonal artistic project for the association, which scattered hay bales along Brand last fall and later placed giant nutcracker statues on the sidewalks in time for the holidays.

Similar to the nutcracker display, Gallagher said the association will once again host a selfie contest that invites people to take photos of themselves in front of the flower busts and post them on the association’s Facebook page for a chance to win prizes.

Aside from the art showings, Gallagher added that the organization is in talks with the city for future beautification projects, such as planting new trees along Brand as well as adding more outdoor tables and chairs on the sidewalks to make Brand more pedestrian friendly.

Source: Glendale News-Press

 

Market to reopen on Brand Boulevard after an almost six-month hiatus.

By Arin Mikailian, arin.mikailian@latimes.com

Downtown Glendale’s farmers market will be relaunching on Brand Boulevard May 7 after a nearly six-month hiatus triggered by low turnout when the weekly event was held in a church parking lot a block away from the popular thoroughfare.

The market will again be open every Thursday, but this time, it will span Brand between California and Wilson avenues, said Tim Gallagher, spokesman for the Downtown Glendale Assn., which oversees the market.

Another change will be shifting the hours from a morning schedule to afternoon — 3 to 7 p.m. — in order to potentially draw in a new group of customers, Gallagher said.

“Our hope now is by starting later in the afternoon, you can grab people who are getting off work at the end of the day,” he said.

The farmers market for many years was held on the east side of Brand between Wilson and Broadway, but was moved early last year to the parking lot of the First Baptist Church on Maryland Avenue, a larger space the association hoped would house more merchants.

Despite many fliers and community outreach, though, the relocated market couldn’t draw in the number of patrons market organizers had anticipated. Every week, the market made about $4,000 to $5,000 in vendor fees for the association.

However, Gallagher said, the goal of the farmers market was never to generate revenue, but to draw more people to the downtown area.

Philip Lanzafame, the city’s economic development director, said the move back to Brand is expected to generate more exposure and it’s something business owners on the western stretch of Brand have asked for as a means to boost foot traffic.

“If you have somebody in an office building that’s now coming to Brand to purchase their vegetables for the weekend and happen to see a bistro or a little restaurant boutique that they go to, then [the farmers market] has done its job,” he said.

All of the metered street parking on the west side of Brand between Wilson and California will be reserved for the vendors during the market’s operating hours. Visitors can park for free for 90 minutes without validation inside the Orange Street parking garage, Lanzafame said.

There will be about 30 vendors for the time being selling fruits, vegetables and other wares.

Raw Inspiration will be the new farmers market manager and it oversees two dozen locations throughout Los Angeles and Orange counties, according to its website.

A representative from Raw Inspiration wasn’t available for comment on Tuesday. According to the company’s website, its contracted vendors deal in fruits, vegetables and handmade crafts.

A portion of the revamped farmers market will pour into Chess Park, an alleyway converted into a public seating area.

Gallagher said the small concrete park will be a space for vendors that sell prepared food and to feature live music every week.

“It’s going to be lighter music. It’s not going to be a rock band or anything like that,” he said. “It’ll really be more of a place to relax.”

Source: Glendale News-Press

 

Rick Caruso’s company is closing in on its purchase of the Masonic Temple.

By Arin Mikailian, arin.mikailian@latimes.com

Downtown Glendale’s development boom continues as multiunit housing projects pop up, but plans announced this week by Caruso Affiliated aim to breathe new life into a nearly 90-year-old building in the downtown area that stands taller than most of its neighboring structures.

Rick Caruso, chief executive of the company, is working to close its purchase of the nine-story Masonic Temple at 232 S. Brand Blvd. — across the street from his company’s outdoor mall, the America at Brand — and is looking to restore it as well as renovate it into office space for lease. He also intends to add a restaurant on the ground floor.

“The thing I’m most excited about is bringing the building back to life,” Caruso said in a phone interview. “It’s been empty for the most part of the last 30 years other than it had the [theater] group A Noise Within for some time.”

The theater company produced productions in the temple’s basement from the early 1990s through 2011 and eventually moved to Pasadena.

Caruso said he’s been eyeing the building since the Americana opened seven years ago, but the deal to acquire the property for an undisclosed amount from the current owners, Frank De Pietro and Sons, wasn’t reached until recently.

The restoration is expected to be completed by the end of this year, and roughly 55,000 square feet of office space will be available for lease, he said.

Part of the work entails adding new windows on the sides of the building to accommodate the new office space, Caruso said.

Jay Platt, the city’s historic preservation planner, said the rear of the structure will also be getting new windows and the existing window arrangement is sort of a hodgepodge because some rooms were fitted for them, while others wouldn’t meet the various needs of Masonic organizations.

Designed by architect Arthur G. Lindley, the Masonic Temple opened in 1928 and has housed six different Masonic organizations. The building is also a designated landmark on Glendale’s Register of Historic Places.

While it’s important to maintain the integrity of historic properties, they also need to be made to fit in the 21st century, said Greg Grammer, president of the Glendale Historical Society.

“We think Glendale’s historic architecture should be very much a part of Glendale’s growth and development, which is why we support adaptive reuse of older historic buildings,” he said.

Grammer said the society is working with Caruso Affiliated on restoration plans and will continue to offer constructive comments, especially when it comes to the windows and the material to be used in making them.

Caruso has also hired a historic preservation consultant to work on the project.

Frank De Pietro and Sons had, at one point, began its own restorative efforts, but they were later abandoned.

Caruso Affiliated officials are moving forward with modifications to those plans, and they will need to be reviewed by the city’s Historic Preservation Commission, Platt said.

The first meeting is scheduled at 5 p.m. on April 16.

Despite its catalog of outdoor shopping malls throughout Los Angeles, taking on the Masonic Temple overhaul is a first-of-a-kind project for Caruso Affiliated’s portfolio.

Caruso named his outdoor mall on the Westside, the Grove, as an example of preserving history because it was built to incorporate the adjacent Original Farmers Market.

“We’ve always been very protective of the history of this region and respectful of it; that’s certainly consistent with the approach we’re taking at the temple,” he said.

The developer also bought an empty lot next to the Masonic Temple which he plans to use for at-grade parking for the time being, as well as two small adjacent buildings that will maintain their current tenants.

Caruso said Americana’s management team will oversee the renovated building, though the shopping mall’s name won’t extend to the newly acquired property.

The words “Masonic Temple” are written near the top of the building, so it won’t go by any other name, he said.

“That’s what is literally engraved in the concrete of the building, and that will remain,” he said.

Source: Glendale News-Press

 

By Bianca Barragan

In an attempt to lure CicLAvia and to boost their ongoing bike and pedestrian safety campaign, Glendale city officials have announced that major artery Brand Boulevard will be closed to car-trafficsometime this coming September for an event that sounds a lot like a tiny CicLAvia, says The Glendale News Press. The street takeover will be much smaller than CicLAvia, which usually stretches for anywhere from three to ten miles. Glendale’s will be just a couple of blocks, but it’s also happening in the middle of the week.

Though the details are still being worked out, the event is expected to happen the Thursday after Labor Day. (CicLAvia usually happens on Sundays.) The weekday timing is because Glendale’s aiming to get the Downtown crowd to go carfree mid-day. “We’re looking at people who are corporate employees in the downtown district to come out on their lunch break,” says Glendale’s community relations coordinator. Baby steps, guys.

Brand is expected to be closed between Broadway and California—or, in lunch terms, for the two blocks from the In-N-Out to Porto’s. The event’s planned to last about four hours, and though there’s no official name for it yet, Glendale’s already hoping to have several more just like it throughout the year. Maybe the prayers of that sad, lonely cool kid who wanted more young, hip people to come to Glendale are finally being heard.

Source: Curbed LA

 

By Bianca Barragan

Caruso Affiliated’s just owning this intersection of Glendale. Across the street from the Americana at Brand (which is a Caruso property), the company’s inked a deal to buy a nine-story, former Masonic temple, two nearby buildings, and the vacant lot behind the temple. The plan, company CEO Rick Caruso says, is to turn the whole thing into a mixed-use complex that will incorporate creative office spacewith room for retail and restaurants, reports the Glendale News Press.

The properties sit on the northeast corner of Brand and Colorado, and together are roughly 68,000 square feet (the lot itself is about 38,000 square feet). In a statement about the purchase, Caruso calls the Art Deco tower “a local architectural gem,” and he’s not kidding. The temple was designed in 1927 by Arthur Lindley, whose firm Lindley & Selkirk designed the Alex Theatre up the street. Because the Masons needed a variety of spaces to do their thing, rooms on the north side of the building are “grand, double-height, typically windowless, ceremonial rooms,” and the whole structure has an “apparent, haphazard window pattern,” according to city paperwork filed in 2010 by the owners, seeking to make upgrades

The temple wrapped construction in 1928, and was rented out by six Masonic organizations in the decades that followed. A few of the lower floors were in use as headquarters for a local theater company (*A Noise Within) from 1991 to 2011, but overall, the building has been largely vacant over the years.

Even though Caruso’s been working on this purchase for five years, it’s still not technically over: the LA Business Journal writes that the deal will close toward the end of the year. No purchase price has been divulged. Caruso is also working in Beverly Grove to build a very high-end residential tower at 333 La Cienega, the counterpart to his 8500 Burton project.

Source: Curbed LA

 

More than 15,000 people have attended a show at facility between January and this month, official says.

By Arin Mikailian, arin.mikailian@latimes.com

A multimillion-dollar renovation for hosting bigger productions is paying off for the Alex Theatre, which saw a bigger audience turnout in the beginning of this year, compared to the same time a year ago.

More than 15,000 people saw a show at the Alex between January and March compared to 11,000 in early 2014, said Elissa Glickman, chief executive of Glendale Arts, the nonprofit that manages the theater.

The Alex presented productions of the musicals “Les Miserables” and “Billy Elliot” in January and February, respectively — large-scale productions that couldn’t be put on before the renovation project.

The $5-million face-lift completed last year added larger dressing rooms, one of the biggest changes, Glickman said.

“We would hold a lot of dancers in our green room,” she said. “Before, if we had more than 50 or 60 dancers, we’d have to put them in a tent in the back parking lot, which is not the most intelligent way to bring one of the most prestigious dance companies to your venue.”

Theater-goers have been responding positively. A recent survey showed that more than 80% of the 120 people polled were very satisfied with the production quality of “Billy Elliot.” More than half of the respondents said the show was a good value for the ticket price.

But in addition to tracking its own success, the theater’s management also wants to see if the increased audience size is helping boost downtown Glendale’s economy.

A little fewer than half of survey respondents said they dined locally before or after the show.

And the growth in the number of patrons from beyond Glendale’s borders is helping, too.

“We’re drawing in people from much farther outside our local community than we ever have in the past,” Glickman said.

Philip Lanzafame, director of the city’s economic development department, emphasized the importance of those outside visitors and was pleased with the increase in theater-goers.

“Having the Alex draw that number of people is an important element of the 18-hour city,” he said.

Up next at the Alex Theatre is a nearly sold-out production of the L.A. Ballet’s “The Sleeping Beauty” at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday.

There aren’t any more large-scale musicals like “Billy Elliott” or “Les Miserables” in the current season, but their success will be used to attract productions on that level, Glickman said.

There’s also no shortage of smaller or independent productions booking time at the Alex, and the audience for those kinds of shows is growing as well, she said.

“For the first time in 11 years, we’re already having trouble finding available dates for people this time next year,” Glickman said. “While our spring is busy, we’re never busy this far out.”

Source: Glendale News-Press

 

By Bianca Barragan

Glendale’s YMCA will be getting a new neighbor: 70 units of affordable housing aimed at housing artists and their families. The project would rise on about half of the 2.2-acre grounds of the Glendale YMCA, says the Daily News. Residents would have to be working artists who make 60 percent or less of median area income, and the building is set to have amenities befitting creative types, like art studios, as well as an open-to-the-public ground-floor gallery and art classes. The $31-million project is expected to open by the fall of 2016.

These are going to be some super-fit artists, living next to the Y. Already underway are plans to add more parking and renovate the 1970s building to add a new lobby, coffee and juice bar, rooms for meetings and exercise, and to spruce up the handball courts and running track on the roof. The influx of artists may be just the thing to “cool” the place up—something that a certain disgruntled young Glendale resident thinks it desperately needs.

Source: Curbed LA

 

The Downtown Glendale Association board has accepted the recommendation of the market manager and will take a holiday hiatus for the Downtown Market effective today.

Rick Lemmo, president of the DGA, said that the start of construction on adjacent street would adversely affect the traffic to the market, which is located at 200 N. Maryland in the parking lot of the First Baptist church. The DGA plans to assess all options and suggestions throughout this coming winter season and reopen an exciting new and improved market in the spring of 2015.

Lemmo thanked the market operator, Carole Gallegos, and the dozens of merchants who came to the market each week. “Your dedication, help and support in establishing and promoting our brand has been challenging, but please know how grateful we are to you for your steadfast spirit,” Lemmo told the merchants in a statement.

The DGA is an association of Downtown Stakeholders running its community benefit district that is paid for by the property owners in the downtown area with the intent of beautifying and improving the downtown area and creating opportunities for shopping, dining and entertainment.  Among the DGA’s many activities are the hiring and supervision of the Downtown Glendale ambassadors who clean the streets, and the decorations for fall and holiday seasons that adorn the downtown corners.

 

Talk about secret recipes… Memory Lane Cuisine’s recipes date back five generations, beginning with owner, Marguerite Duncan-Abrams’ great-grandmother’s recipes from Scotland in the 1890’s. The baking gene has been passed all the way down to Marguerite’s daughter whose famous lemongrass and coconut shortbread is a customer favorite at the Downtown Glendale Market every Thursday from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. We are in the 200 block of North Maryland in the parking lot of the First Baptists Church. Make sure to stop by Memory Lane Cuisine’s booth to try more samples and hear more about the history of the baking family’s recipes.

 

 

The market reopens in a new location with an expanded and upgraded selection of vendors, including Underwood Family Farms, Living Lettuce and Beyond Bread.

The revamped Glendale farmers market launched Jan. 9 in a new location with an expanded and upgraded roster. Founded in 1992, it was formerly on Brand Boulevard, sponsored by the city, and managed by Christopher Nyerges, who also operates a School of Self-Reliance that teaches wilderness survival skills. Last year, the Downtown Glendale Assn., a merchants and property owners group, took over the market, and this month hired a new manager, Carole Gallegos, who directs the successful Encino and South Pasadena farmers markets. At Glendale, she is assisted by her husband, Steven, a public health consultant.

The new site, in a church parking lot around the corner from the old location, is less visible but more spacious and pedestrian-friendly, with plenty of nearby parking. The market has almost tripled in size, from about 15 to 39 vendors, although much of the increase is in prepared foods and crafts. Gallegos dropped several vendors that had been caught by agricultural authorities selling produce they did not grow, and added organic growers and well-respected farms such as Underwood Family Farms, Living Lettuce, South Central Farmers’ Cooperative and Etheridge Farms.

Aiming for a more upscale, branded look, the association requires vendors to use blue-checked tablecloths and wear aprons with the market’s emblem. Business was slow last week, vendors said, and it remains to be seen whether the recent changes will ultimately benefit the market.

Just in time for Chinese New Year (Jan. 31 this year), Cliff McFarlin of Etheridge Farms offers extraordinary Sarawak pummelos grown in Orosi. Very different from Chandler, by far the most common pummelo variety grown in California, which has a thicker rind and firm, dryish pink flesh, Sarawak has a relatively thin rind, juicy, light green flesh and a distinctive sweet-tart, lemon-lime flavor that earns the variety the nickname “margarita fruit.” Sarawak is usually so seedy that you need a hacksaw to slice it, but McFarlin had a brilliant idea that makes a huge difference: According to vendor Nicholas Voolstra, he nets his trees during bloom to exclude bees, so the fruits are seedless. It’s currently the bestseller at his stand, he adds.

This year has been particularly challenging for citrus growers in the San Joaquin Valley, who lost much of their crop to a severe, prolonged freeze in early December. This can be particularly problematic for varieties that ripen from now on, in mid- and late-season, since they were low in sugar, and thus more susceptible to damage when the cold struck. McFarlin fared better than most, because his grove is on the eastern slope of the citrus district, so the coldest air drained down the hillside, but even so, in some blocks he lost much of the fruit on the outside of the trees, said Voolstra.

He also offers prime Tarocco blood oranges, which have drab pale rinds but superbly tender red flesh, with a perfect balance of sweetness and acidity. In addition to Glendale, his stand is at the Altadena, South Pasadena, Studio City and Pacific Palisades markets.

Rancho Mi Familia of Santa Maria sells splendidly aromatic red raspberries, firm but tender. Underwood has a spectacular array of white, green, orange, purple and romanesco cauliflower. Drake Family Farms of Ontario offers a flavorful new aged goat cheese called Idyllwild.

Most of the farmers are market veterans, but a remarkable newcomer in the prepared foods section is Joseph Abrakjian of Beyond Bread, who bakes high-quality artisanal loaves using flour freshly ground at the new Grist & Toll mill, from Triple IV hard red wheat grown by Shepherd Farms in Santa Ynez. Following Red Bread and Kenter Canyon / Roan Mills, this is the third vendor at local farmers markets to espouse what some are calling the Good Bread Revolution. Abrakjian’s signature product, which he bakes just before the market, from dough naturally fermented for 18 hours, is a 100% whole wheat ciabatta, loaded with seeds and complex flavors.

Abrakjian, 44, was born in Lebanon and formerly owned a restaurant in Universal City. He took some time off, then “worked in a commercial bakery, and saw how they make bread, using commercial yeast,” he said. Two years ago, he launched Beyond Bread, driven by the challenge of “bringing back the old way of making bread, using grains that are freshly ground for maximum retention of the wild yeast.” Until recently, his bread mostly was sold at CSAs and at Grist & Toll on Saturdays, but it is likely to be a big hit at farmers markets, if managers and shoppers catch on.

Glendale farmers market, Maryland Avenue between Wilson and California avenues, Thursday, 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Click here for complete article.

Source: Los Angeles Times / By David Karp

 

The Glendale Farmers Market is now located in the parking lot of First Baptist Church on the corner of Louise Street and Wilson Avenue.

It’s expanded to about 35 vendors and is away from traffic on Brand Boulevard, where it was formerly located north of Broadway.

Also, the market, which opens at 9 a.m. every Thursday, now has restroom access.

The move was made after the market’s management was taken over by the Downtown Glendale Assn., which had concerns about traffic, parking and access for the disabled at the former location, where it had been for several years.

Click here for complete article

Source: Glendale News-Press / By Mark Kellam

 

 

Hummus guy

We have a number of very good new vendors at the Downtown Glendale Market.

One of those is Mom’s Products, Inc. It began nearly 20 years ago out of the home of owner, Ben Azouz. He started making his authentic Mediterranean dips and appetizers for his friends and neighbors. His products were so popular, he began selling them in farmer’s markets. Today you can buy his products at over 30 markets, from San Diego to Orange County. Be sure to try the number one seller and favorite of employee, Mosstafa Bibi (pictured here) the artichoke hummus.

The market is open every Thursday from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in the parking lot of the First Baptist Church behind the Alex Theatre.

 

 

 

We are happy to see this article in the very popular Sunset Magazine called “One perfect day in Glendale.” You could clip out this article, put it on the dashboard, and spend a great day in our city.

It mentions the Alex Theatre and Porto’s Bakery – two of our downtown heroes.
Thanks, Sunset Magazine.

 

Ambassadors

The best neighborhood in Los Angeles is …. well you already know, don’t you …. Glendale.

Our city was elected Los Angeles’ best neighborhood by visitors to the Curbed Los Angeles website. In earlier rounds of voting that began in December, Glendale bested Koreatown, Highland Park and Hollywood. The finals were tough. We were up against the Los Angeles Arts District. Glendale emerged as the winner by a margin of about 60 percent to 40 percent. There were about 2,200 votes cast in the poll conducted by CurbedLA, a real estate blog.

We’re not surprised. So much has been happening in Glendale this year. New stores such as Blomingdale’s at the Glendale Galeria and Nordstrom at the Americana. Great new restaurants along Brand. The revitalization and refurbishment of the Alex Theatre.  And in 2013 we saw the introduction of our Ambassadors, a group of hard-working folks who keep our downtown streets clean and offer friendly directions and help to shoppers.

The Glendale News-Press covered the news in today’s editions. There are these great comments from City Manager Scott Ochoa to close the article.

“City Manager Scott Ochoa said the winning result was testimony to the efforts that have gone into improving downtown Glendale in the past few years.

“I think as you look around the corner what 2014 and 2015 hold…I think you’ll see Glendale really is a great location to have some fun, and at the same time, be safe, and enjoy the environment in which to live,” Ochoa said.

 

 

Farmers Market 3

Downtown Glendale will welcome a new and improved market to a new location when it opens Jan. 9 and is renamed the Downtown Glendale Market.

Formerly the Farmers Market, the Downtown Glendale Market will be owned by the Downtown Glendale Association and managed by veteran farmers’ market operator Carole Gallegos. The market will be open each Thursday from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

The newly named market will operate in the parking lot shared by the city and the First Baptist Church on the 200 block of North Maryland. The market will open with some 60 vendors (as compared to 25 at the old market) and has capacity to expand to 100. Parking will be plentiful.

“The new location and new operator will give people of Glendale and surrounding cities another reason to visit one of the most vibrant, thriving downtown districts anywhere,” said Rick Lemmo, DGA president.

Gallegos, who operates farmers markets in several Southern California cities, promised new and attractive vendors. “We’ll have certified organic farmers, grass-fed beef, raw milk and such. We’ll also have prepared foods, hot coffee and baked goods. This is going to be very different and offer a lot more variety for Glendale.”

Helen McDonagh, owner of Massage Envy on Brand and a member of the DGA board, said, “This is what downtown needs. There are thousands of people who work in our downtown office buildings who’ll now have a fun place to go on Thursdays.”

 

Meet Miguel Reza, one of our Downtown Glendale Ambassadors. Our ambassadors enjoy their jobs. They help folks looking for directions or seeking a recommendation. They keep the streets sparkling clean. Miguel even has carried packages to the car or folks who needed a hand. He lives in Silver Lake and says he loves coming to work every day because he works outdoors with some of the friendliest people anywhere.

 

Miguel Reza on the job in Downtown Glendale

Miguel Reza on the job in Downtown Glendale

 

 

 

Miguel Reza on the job in Downtown Glendale

Miguel Reza on the job in Downtown Glendale

 

 

Nordstrom pic1

It’s just days away. Have you made your plans yet?

 

 

Massage Envy

Please join us Wednesday at Massage Envy Spa Glendale, for Healing Hands for Arthritis, a one-day national event to raise funds to fight and cure arthritis. Massage Envy will donate $10 from every one-hour massage and facial session and 10 percent of sales of select skincare products to the Arthritis Foundation.

First appointments at 8 a.m. and last appointments at 9 p.m. Food and drinks will be served all day. Massage Envy is 333. N. Brand Blvd.

 

For some time now, business and property owners in Downtown Glendale have been discussing ways and collaborating with the City to create a multi-pronged approach to establishing a fresh branding identity for the district. This new identity will improve its image and increase both commerce and pedestrian activity levels. The efforts of downtown bussiness and property owners and the City, and the adoption of the new Downtown Glendale Community Benefit Distrist (CDB), which was approved overwhelmingly by property owners this past July, will reinvent the downtown area.

The premise of the Downtown Glendale Community Benefit District, which is referred to by the name as The Downtown Glendale Association (DGA), is to elicit a positive and vibrant image of Downtown Glendale. The newly formed district looks to connect the two largest anchors on south Brand Boulevard, the Americana at Brand and the Glendale Galleria, with the many class “A” office buildings, which are housed on north Brand Boulevard. The DGA also seeks to merge Brand Boulevard with its surrounding streets to create a symbiotic district from Colorado Boulevard to the 134 Freeway. “It is the DGA Board of Directors’ goal to unify the district in an effort to promote fiscal growth, attract new tenants and boost foot traffic, thereby increasing sales tax within the district,” said DGA President Rick Lemmo.

Downtown Glendale Association guest “Ambassadors”began assisting patrons and providing sidewalk beautification in early February. The ambassadors will be part of an innovative marketing and promotions campaign, beginning with an informative website and social media platforms, set to launch in early March. “Every dollar collected through the DGA maximizes the benefits to all business and property owners in the district,” said Lemmo.

“With the opening of a new Nordstrom and Bloomingdales in the fall, we expect to see a noticeable increase in pedestrian activity throughout Downtown Glendale,” said Lemmo. “We will improve the appearance of Brand Boulevard immediately and ultimately eliminate any blight and reduce our vacancy rate. The DGA Board of Directors makes the commitment to the businesses and property owners of the Downtown district, as well as to the citizens of Glendale, that we will make our Downtown something that everyone can be proud of and make it “the place to be, shop, dine, live and visit”.

On Thursday, February 21st at 10:00AM the DGA along with the Glendale Chamber of Commerce will host a commemorative ribbon cutting in front of The Alex Theatre (216 N. Brand Blvd.) The public is invited. For more information please call (818) 240-7870.

 
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