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Glendale has new downtown revitalization tool

Posted 6/22/17

By Cecilia Chan

Independent Newsmedia

Glendale has officially created the Centerline Entertainment District downtown, which should help the city jumpstart the economy there.

Giving the area …

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Glendale has new downtown revitalization tool


By Cecilia Chan
Independent Newsmedia

Glendale has officially created the Centerline Entertainment District downtown, which should help the city jumpstart the economy there.

Giving the area along Glendale Avenue from 61st to 43rd avenues this designation, means businesses such as bars and liquor stores could set up shop next to a church and school, which is currently prohibited under state law.

The entertainment district allows the City Council on a case by case basis waive certain types of liquor licenses from having to stay 300 feet away from a church or school. The 300-foot rule does not apply to restaurants that serve food and alcohol, motels, hotels and special events such as Glendale’s annual Glitter and Glow. The final approval for a license still remains with the state liquor board.

The new designation affects more than 40 churches and about 10 schools either near or within the boundary.

Jean Moreno, Strategic Initiatives and Special Projects executive officer, reminded the council 56 percent of the public surveyed indicated support of the district.

Of the 151 survey responses received, 85 indicated they supported the proposal, 45 indicated that they did not support the proposal, 17 indicated that they were undecided, and four provided no response, according to the city.

Louis Santana told the council he supported the entertainment zone. Mr. Santana, who owns Santana’s Black Label Gourmet Food, said he is opening his business soon at 55th and Glendale avenues.

“We need to give citizens a reason to visit downtown past 6 p.m.,” he said. “It will allow new businesses to go there and offer a unique downtown experience.”

The city in forming the district acknowledges adverse effects may result, including increased traffic, parking, noise and odor. It also stated the district would not adversely affect the character of the Glendale Centerline, including the family friendly character of the area.

The current process for obtaining a liquor license will not change. Residents still will have the opportunity to object to liquor licenses — first at a council meeting where a recommendation is made to approve or deny — and later before the state board.

Other Valley cities that have an Entertainment District include Phoenix, Mesa and Gilbert.

Given Glendale’s population size, the city can implement up to two districts, each no more than 1 square mile in total area.

Casinos, sexually oriented businesses and billboards are not allowed in the district boundary, according to the city.

The city more than six years ago began focusing its efforts on renewing the aging section of Glendale Avenue corridor from 43rd to 67th avenues between Myrtle and Ocotillo avenues into a pedestrian-friendly shopping, dining and entertainment center. The council in 2011 approved a Centerline Overlay District, which gives property owners more flexibility when building along one of the city’s major thoroughfares.