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SCAG Region: Compass Bluepr int Case Study Downtown Glendale

Downtown Glendale is evolving from commercial district into a 24-hour center of activity. This case study follows this ongoing transformation.

Downtown Glendale

Located in Los Angeles County between Burbank and Pasadena, the City of Glendale has thrived as a center of employment and commerce for decades. In recent years, the downtown has begun to evolve from an almost entirely commercial district into a 24­hour center of activity. This case study follows downtown’s ongoing transformation.

Local Context

Glendale has one of the highest job densities in Los Angeles County (Figure 2) and attracts workers from all over the region. Although the city is somewhat less ethnically diverse than Los Angeles County as a whole (Figure 1), Glendale is home to a number of immigrant communities including Armenians (26.2 percent), Hispanics (19.7 percent), Iranians (2.7 percent), Filipinos (5.7 percent), English (4.9 percent), and Chinese (1.3 percent).1

The City’s historic success at attracting employers rests on its location at the center of a “Golden Triangle” of freeways – I-5, SR-2, and SR-134 – that defines the city and provides easy access for workers and customers from around the region. Glendale’s transportation options also include a Metrolink/Amtrak station, located about two miles south of the center of downtown, regional buses operated by the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, and the locally funded “Beeline” bus system.

Although the bulk of the City’s 80,000 workers live either in Glendale or the neighboring cities of Los Angeles, Burbank and Pasadena, workers commute from as far away as Long Beach and even San Diego to access the City’s many professional and retail jobs (Table 1). Glendale’s residents also take advantage of the city’s excellent freeway and transit access to commute to nearby job centers; 72 percent of Glendale residents work outside of their city of residence, compared to 62 percent of Los Angeles County residents.2

Glendale’s central location and excellent accessibility not only attract employers and workers, but also make the city attractive to households who want to live, work, and shop locally. Since 2003, the City has begun to allow residential and mixed-use development in the downtown, opening the door for a strong but previously untapped market for condominiums and apartments.