An Inside Look at Lex on Orange 1

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LoOStreetCommunity. Quartz. Nest. These selling points of Lex on Orange were the three I mulled following my personal hard hat tour of the property just before Thanksgiving.

Community: The design and marketing of the property directly appeals to the desire to belong, to have appealing gathering spots, and to have controlled opportunities to meet neighbors or make new acquaintances and connections. I counted just under ten separate gathering spaces, excluding the “woof” deck (a walking space for pets, which are allowed at the residences). There is a lovely Club Lounge, a VIP Lounge (users can define their own VIPs), a Media Lounge, a Business Center, a Conference Room, a rooftop party deck and a Yoga class space adjacent to the 24-hour fitness center.LoOCabana

Of course there is also a central outdoor sky deck with saltwater pool, spa, barbeques and several nearby cabana spaces (inexpertly photographed here – basically rectangular areas set back from the pool area with planters) available by reservation.

Marketing and Sales Coordinator Mary Missirlian told me residents will be able to use any of the above for no additional charge, and she’s looking forward to organizing regular events and classes including zumba and yoga. Lex on Orange is also amenable to having outside organizations use their meeting facilities (take note, local nonprofits!). Large flat screens and wi-fi are in these common areas.

Quartz: I’d love to replace some aging kitchen tile and grout with this sleek, high-tech, environmentally friendly and low-maintenance counter surface. Quartz counter tops are standard in all 310 residence units and throughout the common areas that have kitchens and/or bars. Complementing the dark neutral quartz are stainless appliances including dishwashers, and all units are also equipped with washers and dryers.

Nest: Never come home to a cold Lex on Orange apartment; program its Nest thermostat remotely from your smart device, conserving energy for when it is needed. Other environmental and sustainable features: MIRV8 air filters used throughout; flooring selections are wood or low-VOC carpeting; and the whole facility is designed to LEED Silver Certification.

LoOAptViewThe developer is marketing to all demographics – families, career, singles. Units range from 1 bedroom to 2 bedroom + loft (the latter are top floor units) and parking spaces included are equivalent to the bedroom count. This is definitely high-density living, but several amenities are nearby. Directly across the street is the Glendale Center Theatre (pictured here through a ground floor one bedroom apartment window). Next to that are the back entrances to Porto’s and Damon’s. The stand alone Zinke’s Shoe Repair shop and the White Hut are just a block down, as is Sears. The Alex Theatre and Brand Bookshop are also one block down on Brand. Several other restaurants are just up or down Central Ave. or Brand Blvd., and Glendale Beeline Routes 1 and 2 run up and down both streets respectively. If you don’t want to take the bus, drive, or walk, Lex on Orange has signature Orange bikes free for residents’ use!

What isn’t exactly around the corner, and not easy using bikes, is grocery shopping. There are two Ralphs stores, a Whole Foods, and a Trader Joe’s at distances ranging from .8 to 1.1 miles (according to Google Maps). Another Trader Joe’s opening soon at Glenoaks Blvd./Brand Blvd. offers no shorter distance benefit (both TJs will be .8 miles from the complex) but will hopefully equalize shopping aisle traffic as the downtown population increases.

The impact of not just 310, but an estimated 3,800 additional residences soon available in Glendale is something the Lex on Orange community as well as current residents in downtown Glendale and surrounding streets will have to cope with. The Glendale News-Press just covered this question, with Lex on Orange as the feature photo.

Returning to the first of the three “selling points” I mulled during and after the tour and continue to contemplate. The ambition and heart are evident in Lex on Orange, and the common areas as well as the roomy apartments (with rents starting at $2145) are very appealing. Will Lex on Orange deliver the “community” its common areas and amenities are designed to elicit? Will it draw away from or enhance the use of other nearby civic spaces (Brand Blvd., the Alex, the Central Library, etc.)? How will the Glendale community change and adapt to downtown density?

Glendale renters tired of fighting for street parking, with no desirable outdoor gathering spaces, will definitely be attracted to this complex. Glendale homeowners already troubled by traffic on side streets are likely to find downtown errands taking longer as Lex on Orange, Icis, the Holland Partners’ buildings and others fill up. I’m already trying to figure out new routes to regular destinations.

FYI: First move-ins for the complex (which will be in its Central Ave.-facing building) are scheduled for early 2014.


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