Park towers renovation

Renovations of the lobby at the Park Towers on the 300 block of Pioneer Dr. in Glendale are almost complete, on Tuesday, April 15, 2014. (Raul Roa / Staff Photographer / April 17, 2014)

With Glendale’s development boom bringing thousands of new residential units to downtown, the management behind a condominium complex built in the 1980s is undertaking a decorative overhaul to remain competitive in the local real estate market.

Located at 345 Pioneer Drive, Park Towers is a pair of 18-story structures housing 180 units and is already nearing completion of a remodeling of its main lobby.

The sea-foam-colored motif that might have been hip in 1987 is no longer in style. So the Park Towers’ homeowners association used about $700,000 in reserve funds to shift to an art-deco motif with new walls, LED lighting, new chandeliers and a fountain, which is still under construction.

It’s quite an improvement, said Barry James, general manager of Park Towers.

“I remember Realtors walking in and they’d immediately spin around and leave,” he said.

With work on the lobby almost done, James and the association’s board of directors are looking to redo the hallways of all 18 floors in both towers.

The effort would complement what homeowners have done to remodel their own homes, James said.

“The owners are doing a great job remodeling their own units,” he said. “Everyone who’s purchased in the last 12 months has been putting a lot of money into their home.”

Each floor has five units and a hallway, which is lined with old carpeting and outdated salmon-colored moulding and doors, James said.

But the hallway remodeling won’t come cheap. James said. He estimates the project will require another $1 million, which could be generated through assessments ranging between $5,000 and $7,000 on residents.

Whether the assessments will be implemented is up to the residents, who are expected to vote sometime in May, and a simple majority must approve them.

James said he believes setting aside some additional money to improve the hallways would help raise condo selling prices, maybe by as much as $40,000 per unit. He added that three-bedroom units at Park Towers are going for about $400,000 in the current market and that figure is being suppressed by a flood of new resident development projects in the area.

Arthur Chalekian, a resident and president of the association’s board of directors, said there could be some financing alternatives in the works.

“[We’ve been] trying to give options to the homeowners... a creative way of funding that’s not a burden on a lot of people,” he said.

Chalekian added that he’s heard some opposition to redoing the hallways, mostly from residents who have lived at Park Towers for more than 20 years.

“There are those who are panicked about it, but there are also those who are just head-over-heels excited about it,” James said.

A meeting about the hallway remodeling project will be held on May 8 for residents. After that, they will be sent ballots to vote on whether to move forward with the renovation.

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Follow Arin Mikailian on Twitter: @ArinMikailian.

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