New owner wants to enlarge controversial Glendale hotel project

City first approved three-story build in 2019

1633 Victory Boulevard, Glendale and Senior Planner at City of Glendale Dennis Joe (Google Maps, LinkedIn)
1633 Victory Boulevard, Glendale and Senior Planner at City of Glendale Dennis Joe (Google Maps, LinkedIn)

A developer who bought a controversial hotel project in Glendale’s Riverside Rancho neighborhood is planning to enlarge it.

An entity called AV Hospitality, LLC, which bought the site in 2019, has applied with the City of Glendale to amend the approved build by adding 20 rooms, according to Glendale planning documents. The new plans would also increase the hotel’s size by roughly 7,150 square feet and add two more parking spaces while reducing setbacks and the size of a pool deck. Under the modifications, the hotel would have a total of 84 rooms and be just over 45,000 square feet.

Rendering of the controversial Glendale hotel project (GlendaleCA.gov)

Rendering of the controversial Glendale hotel project (GlendaleCA.gov)

In late April the city’s Director of Community Development found that the proposal would not have a significant environmental impact. A comment period over that declaration is ongoing through next week, and a public hearing is scheduled for May 26.

Dennis Joe, the city planner overseeing the process, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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The hotel site, long known informally as the “Victory Hotel,” is located at 1633 Victory Boulevard, just a few blocks west of I-5 and a few blocks north of the Los Angeles River and Griffith Park.

It’s been a subject of local controversy for years: In 2019, after insisting on a more muted design, Glendale issued an initial approval to the previous owner, Jayesh Kumar, but neighbors dug in with an opposition campaign. The neighbors, who argued the project was too large for the area and would block sunlight and create congestion, created a website called “novictoryhotel.org” and filed an appeal of the approvals. They also notified the city about the unkempt conditions of the property, prompting a lawsuit against Kumar. Kumar then filed a $60,000 trespassing suit, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Kumar alleged the neighbors had illegally parked their car on his property for nearly two years and had it towed; at the time Phillip Marks, a neighbor, said Kumar and his representatives wouldn’t tell him where his car was taken.

“Other vehicles were confiscated on the lot, and to my knowledge no one else has been sued,” Marks told the Times in 2019. “I think this points to a little special treatment for the guy who’s appealing the project.”

The appeal, however, was ultimately denied, and Kumar sold the property to AV Hospitality in June of 2019 for $3.65 million, according to records. That entity registered with the state of California in 2018 and lists a principal address near the hotel site. The listed manager, Anand Desai, could not be reached for comment.

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