Fred Hauter (AKA Paradise) Ford
2460 Honolulu Ave., Montrose
GLENDALE NEWS PRESS
January 13, 2006
Demolition paves way for parking
Council approves $176,000 for razing Paradise Ford to make room for a 125-space lot.
By Fred Ortega, News-Press and Leader
CITY HALL -- Parking relief is on the way for businesses and customers on the western end of the Montrose Shopping Park.
The City Council approved a $176,000 project on Tuesday to raze a vacant car dealership on the 2400 block of Honolulu Avenue and turn the property into a 125-space public parking facility.
It is expected to take two to three months for Viking Equipment Corp. and J&G Industries Inc. to demolish the 8,000-square-foot former Paradise Ford Dealership, prepare and patch the site's pavement and stripe the lot for public use, Public Works Director Steve Zurn said.
"It will not be a pay lot, but open, public parking," Zurn said.
The city purchased the property about four years ago, said John Drayman, president of the Montrose Shopping Park Assn. But discussions about how to best use the land, which is located across the street from the Montrose Library and Fire Station 29, delayed its development, Zurn said.
"The original intent was to provide parking when we purchased it," Zurn said. "But what has come up since then is the potential for combining a new fire station with public parking on the site. As the city looks at what the future holds for the library and the station, we are looking at using the lot for parking for now while examining future options.... The station is small, cramped and slowly deteriorating."
Future plans for the site should also include some type of community center, Drayman said.
"What we would like to see is the fire station move across the street to allow the library to expand," he said. "The station is in really bad shape, it is not a modern facility, and if they were to put a new station on the site with underground parking it would preserve public parking for the community. At the same time the facilities could have a sort of combination community meeting space of the sort that they have at the city's main fire station on Oak Street."
Meeting space is at a premium in the Crescenta Valley, Drayman said, with some 400 community groups sharing facilities at Citibank, the Montrose Library, the Crescenta Valley Sheriff's Station and Verdugo Hills Hospital.
Ken Grayson, owner of Grayson's Tune Town and whose business is located near the future parking lot, has advocated for the extra spaces since the property became available in 2001.
He pointed out that more than 80% of the parking for the shopping park is located on the 2200 block.
"This will definitely provide some relief and the potential for stronger businesses to come to the 2300 and 2400 block," Grayson said. "For many years only small stores with very little activity could afford to rent on the 2400 block. It was very difficult to get any restaurants or decent retailers because availability of parking was a snag."
The city should also consider making some of the 125 spaces in the lot available for employee-only parking permits, as is the case in other public lots throughout the shopping park, Grayson said.
"If they don't take employee parking into consideration, we won't really get that much relief," he said. "Right now I can't even get my employees to park down there and we aren't that far. But if you do some of it on a permit basis, you force employees to park over there and free up some of the [storefront] parking for customers. They really need to think it out a little bit to make the most use of that parking."
Permit parking for employees is definitely an option for the new lot, Traffic and Transportation Administrator Jano Baghdanian said.
"If there is a need for it, and there is a situation where the lot is getting really full then we will set up a portion of the spots for employee parking," Baghdanian said. "We will work out the details with the Montrose Shopping Park Assn."
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