Glendale News-Press: Glendale Galleria’s Open-Air Food Park is in the Works

Glendale News-Press: Glendale Galleria’s Open-Air Food Park is in the Works

By Lila Seidman

A proposed contemporary open-air food court outside the Glendale Galleria hit a snag last week when city officials requested a redesign of the project that’s been in the works for at least a year.

The 2,000-square-foot Urban Space Food Park, planned for 145 S. Central Ave., is slated to feature five permanent food trucks and 10 prefabricated shipping containers, as well as outdoor seating, a canopy and a pair of signs.

It’s a joint project between developer Urban Space and the Galleria, according to a city report.

Last week, several Glendale City Council members took issue with what they described as a loud color palette and closed-off design during a special afternoon meeting.

Before giving final approval, council members voted 4-1 to have Urban Space, which had partnered with the mall, to bring back an altered design that reflected the council’s design suggestions.

Council members said they would prefer a design with more access points for customers, muted, earthy colors and additional wood accents.

Councilman Vartan Gharpetian questioned the merits of the project that was billed as a means to activate the downtown area and support local businesses.

“Shipping containers and the Galleria — I don’t think it matches at all,” Gharpetian said.

“So we’re trying to build something exciting and new? I don’t know,” he added. “When you consider the entire area, I don’t think this thing belongs there.”

Integrating cargo shipping containers into various architectural projects, including food halls, has become increasingly popular in recent years. Proponents have touted the containers as a green, relatively inexpensive building material.

Michael McGrath, chief operating officer of Urban Space, defended the design concept.

He noted that the company has spearheaded similar successful projects across the country, singling out several that have performed well in New York City.

“People like to be together. So, if you open this thing up and make it just a row of restaurants along the street, it’s no different than anywhere else in any downtown in America,” McGrath told the council members.

“The idea is to create a space where people can congregate together, find interesting food opportunities and give these opportunities to small businesses,” he added.

The majority of council members said they would still like the developer to take another pass at the design.

Councilman Frank Quintero was the sole council member who said he would support the project as presented.

A revised design will likely return to City Council for consideration early next year, according to Glendale city spokeswoman Eliza Papazian.

Source: Glendale News-Press