“You will get our best shot,” Glendale City Manager Scott Ochoa told commercial real estate brokers March 6, at The Valley Economic Alliance (TVEA) City of Glendale Broker’s Breakfast. Ochoa gave brokers gathered for a pre-Expo breakfast at the Glendale Hilton insights on Glendale’s approach to economic development, the statistics it is tracking, and targets set by the City Council.
“Time is money, and process is product,” he stated, referring to the city’s new streamlined permitting, concierge service, and shortened timeframes for working with businesses, property owners and brokers. He was pleased to claim “new world renowned tenants” that recently established corporate offices in Glendale, including Whole Foods, Avery Dennison, Legal Zoom, and New York Life.
Ochoa said the city’s goals are to;
- Increase Class A occupancy rates (now at 79%, up from five years ago, but lower than Burbank and Pasadena)
- Boost awareness of retail clusters beyond the core sales tax generators for the city (Glendale Galleria, the Americana at Brand, and the Brand Boulevard of Cars), and
- Create an 18-hour “after-work” culture that not only lives and works, but shops, attends shows, walks and dines in Glendale.
With the unwinding of redevelopment agencies, Ochoa hopes to get some seed money released to help with business projects. Asked about parking, he referred to $35 million in bonds in the city’s treasury that are frozen by the state. The city currently can’t touch these to build a new municipal parking structure, which Ochoa envisioned behind Porto’s and Damon’s. He suggested those concerned about downtown parking to contact local elected officials at the state level about releasing those funds.
More than 80 commercial real estate brokers attended the morning session to network and establish connections with city staff and officials on hand. TVEA Chair Martha Diaz Aszkenazy greeted the group and provided a short overview of TVEA activities over the past year. “The City of Glendale has so much to offer to businesses and families that want to call Glendale their home,” said TVEA President and CEO, Greg Krikorian. “The Valley Economic Alliance team is ready and raring to attract and retain business in our five city region,” Krikorian added.
Attendees got a lot out of Scott Ochoa’s detailed presentation of what the city is looking for and how its processes have changed, and got an early start on the TVEA 2014 Business Expo that followed at the Hilton.
Shelley Valencia represented Glenoaks Escrow, one of the title sponsors, at the podium. Other event sponsors were Southern California Gas Company/Sempra Energy, City of Glendale, and Neighborhood Housing Services of Los Angeles County.