|By Daniel Siegal, Glendale News-Press,
Calif.McClatchy-Tribune Regional News
March 01, 2013--A new hotel received final approval from the City Council on Tuesday, giving visitors to Glendale another lodging option within walking distance of the Americana at Brand, Glendale Galleria and other downtown businesses.
In a 4-1 vote, the council approved a proposal from Los Angeles-based developer Vista Investments, LLC to build a five-story, 94-room Hampton Inn & Suites on an L-shaped lot on the southwest corner of Brand Boulevard and Colorado Street.
Vista Investments owns eight other hotels in Southern California, including the Vagabond Inn, located next door to the new hotel on Colorado Street.
The company thought the two hotels -- one business-class, the other economy-class -- would complement each other, according to Jamie Suarez, Vista's controller.
"The city of Glendale is growing rapidly ... We feel there will be growing demand," Suarez said.
The Hampton Inn will feature a main lobby and entrance on Colorado and access to a subterranean garage on Brand.
Construction is expected to start around November, and the hotel should be completed about a year later, according to development consultant Rodney Khan.
Mayor Frank Quintero said he was fully behind the hotel, which would generate employment and business on the edge of downtown Glendale.
Quintero said he was happy the project would be an all-suites hotel and is expected to generate more than $250,000 in hotel taxes for the city annually, according to figures projected by city staff.
"That it's a Hilton hotel is great. It means a business usage for people coming to the Americana.... I assume it will be 100% occupancy," Quintero said.
The Hampton Inn & Suites will be Glendale's third hotel in the Hilton Worldwide family, joining the Embassy Suites on Central Avenue and the Hilton on Glenoaks Avenue.
Councilman Dave Weaver lamented that the developer was unable to buy the corner lot -- currently a strip mall -- forcing the hotel into an awkward design.
"Someday, the owner of that parcel in the corner there is going to pass on to his great reward, and the next person will build a building that will block the views of these hotel rooms," Weaver said. "I call it hodgepodge development ... But you did the best you could."
Councilman Rafi Manoukian, the lone nay vote, said he wasn't ready to support the variances the project was requesting to forgo constructing a loading dock and allow 88 parking spaces, not the 94 required by code.
Khan told the council that due to the L-shaped lot, the project was designed not to need a loading dock because it doesn't have a full-service restaurant and offers on-site laundry services.
"Our Downtown Specific Plan area has seen quite a number of projects, but most of those are residential apartment buildings," Khan said. "This is a new business-class hotel on the site."
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