Monday, April 21, 2008

More Downtown Condos

Work has begun on the adaptive reuse project at the corner of Broadway and Louise. The building was built in 1956 as Fidelity Federal Savings and Loan by architect W.A. Sarmiento, who studied under Oscar Niemayer and in 1959 built Glendale's first skyscraper, the 10-story Glendale Federal Savings building. In 2001 the Glendale Redevelopment Agency acquired the land from L.A. County, which had used the site as a Department of Public Services office.

This building has been empty since I started working in Glendale in early 2004. Around that time, a sign went up in the window saying that an animation museum would be opening in the space soon. I started looking for evidence of whatever happened to that idea, and the closest I could find was this blog post from December 2004:
Animation Museum Still Alive: According to The Los Angeles Daily News notes, “Some animation professionals trying to raise $18 million to open an animation museum [The Animation Bank] in a vacant social-services building [in Glendale, California] have been granted six months to firm up the project. The extension, granted by the city's Redevelopment Agency despite Mayor Bob Yousefian's skepticism, is the second given the group, whose members envision transforming a 225 E. Broadway building into a museum including a research library and archive, screening room and animation-school space.”
So it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out what happened there. But what's happening now?

The site is now being developed by the Amidi Group, who are also responsible for the forthcoming City Center II mixed use project at the corner of Brand and Wilson. After poking around the City website, I found the Environmental Impact Report.

Project Summary:
"The Project includes renovation of an existing office building and construction of a new residential condominium building. Exterior and interior improvements to the existing 3-story, 66,000-square-foot office building are proposed. A new building containing 63 residential condominium units is proposed on the other portion of the site. This building would be six stories containing 74,130 square feet above two levels of subterranean parking is also proposed. One parking level would be provided at grade. The proposed residential building would include a lobby, an outdoor courtyard with water amenities, storage rooms, service, trash and recycling rooms. The Project would also include vacation of the existing alley immediately north of the existing office building to create a landscaped public open space pedestrian passageway between North Louise Street and North Brand Boulevard."
I also waded through the ridiculously large 119mb PDF file pertaining to aesthetics. Here are some renderings of how the project will apparently look.

Not too different, except they've removed the louvers and added some windows to the brick section. As you can see in my first picture, the louvers have already been removed from the building. Here is a rendering of the condo building, on what is now a parking lot.

Here is a picture of the building (taken from the EIR) before construction began.

1 comment:

Anne-arky said...

Wow, we don't have enough condos in Glendale already. Thank goodness. :P