Glendale City Councilmembers Laura Friedman and Ara Najarian spoke on the state of Montrose on Nov. 28, however, the main focus of the evening turned to the 710 Tunnel Expansion Project and discussion of expanding Glendale's business community in the downtown area.
About 75,000 people commute daily to Glendale for work, according to former Mayor Laura Friedman.
She spoke about the city's efforts to draw creative companies, the film industry and revamp its business community.
Friedman discussed economic development in Glendale:
- Council is aiming to promote Downtown Glendale as an 18-hour day location, with a more lively downtown closing near 9 or 10 p.m.
- Decrease empty office space left from banking and insurance industries that decreased during the Recession.
- Whole Foods moved its West Coast offices to Good Street in South Glendale.
- Museum of Neon Art (considered the second museum in Glendale besides Forest Lawn) will open downtown.
- Creative Corridor of Glendale can be expanded and already hosts Disney, Dreamworks, LegalZoom and other companies.
- Bloomingdale's will replace Mervyn's and should be open by Christmas 2013 and is part of a nearly $100 million Glendale Galleria renovation.
- Laemmle Playhouse and loft project is expected to attract creative, artists, single people in their 20s and 30s and retired people who want the amenities of living downtown or walking and biking to work.
- 5 Star Cinemas will feature international films and will replace the Mann Theater on Maryland.
Najarian, Glendale City Councilmember and Metro Board Chair, spoke against the proposed 710 Freeway Extension Tunnel:
- "This is something we have to stop and I am committed to stop," Najarian said.
- Najarian suggested a light rail between Pasadena and the ports to place shipping containers to head on the Alameda Corridor East.
- Expects the tunnel will directly impact Foothill communities, including Montrose, La Crescenta, La Canada Flintridge, Pasadena, Altadena and South Pasadena.
- "Once you get on this tunnel, you are on it for five miles... It's a catastrophe waiting to happen if a truck flips and starts on fire. It makes no sense at all for you and me," Najarian said.