August 10th Community Open House
What does the Burbank Town Center Plan entail?
The Burbank Town Center Plan contains several components. One component is the revitalization of the Burbank Town Center that is currently underway to refresh the presentation. Secondly, in addition to the ongoing retail improvements, the owners have submitted an application to the City to replace some of the adjacent ancillary retail structures with a mix of complementary uses, including residences, a hotel, neighborhood-serving retail, and a new open space plaza (Project). The Project’s comprehensive design will create a new downtown neighborhood where residents can live, work, shop, and play.
Where is the property?
The Burbank Town Center site consists of several fully developed blocks within Downtown Burbank, including the Burbank Town Center, the now-closed IKEA store, retail, restaurant and movie theater uses, and three multi-level parking structures. In general, the property’s physical boundaries are Burbank Boulevard, Third Street, Magnolia Boulevard, and the Golden State Freeway (I-5). The Property is zoned Planned Development No. 89-4 (PD 89-4), which the City Council approved in 1989. The Project proposes to amend PD 89-4 to be consistent with the City’s recently adopted General Plan, Burbank 2035.
How has the project been revised?
Based on input from community members, the project revisions focus on several areas: the introduction of affordable housing into the unit mix, improved pedestrian connections, additional publicly accessible open space, and more articulated and varied building designs. Among the 1,165 residential units proposed, the project will now include an affordable housing component as required by the City.
In addition to the approximately 22,000 square-foot open space plaza proposed to be built at N. San Fernando and Cypress just north of Macy’s, two new paseos will connect Third Street and Grinnell Drive to the plaza and Cypress Avenue. A third paseo would connect from Burbank Boulevard to Grinnell Drive. Stamped pedestrian crossings would connect the paseos across the streets. The design is intended to increase access to and through the site, opening the project up to pedestrians in all directions. The result will create a central gathering place for the community to enjoy, including increased outdoor activity and special community events, such as a community farmer’s market, an ice skating rink, festivals, outdoor movie screening, and other neighborhood activities and civic events. The publicly accessible plaza will also accommodate outdoor dining, pedestrian movement, street furniture and landscape enhancements. These public improvements will benefit the community at-large with safe and pedestrian-friendly uses.
Is the renovation a part of the proposed mixed-use Project application?
No. However, the renovated Burbank Town Center will play an important role serving residents of the proposed neighborhood as well as other visitors. Scheduled to be complete in December 2017, the Burbank Town Center is undergoing a $60 million refresh to create a modern shopping experience by providing a more welcoming and seamless connection between the Burbank Town Center and Downtown Burbank. In addition, the renovation will include an outdoor dining terrace on the third level facing Downtown Burbank with unmatched views of the Verdugo Mountains and access off Magnolia/San Fernando via an exterior escalator. As a part of ongoing business operations and tenant improvements, there may be additional upgrades to occur in the future.
What does the city’s General Plan call for on the site?
The Burbank Town Center site is located in Downtown Burbank. Burbank 2035, the city’s General Plan adopted by the City Council in 2013, envisions Downtown Burbank as the center of the city where people live, work, and shop. “Downtown Burbank is the civic, shopping, dining and entertainment center of the city,” the plan reads. “As a community center with transit access, it is appropriate for Downtown to have a higher allowable intensity of development than other areas of the community.”
The proposed neighborhood fulfills the city’s stated goals for the downtown area by:
- providing a wider range of housing options for residents;
- improving Burbank’s jobs-housing balance while conserving Burbank’s lower density residential neighborhoods; and
- locating higher density housing in a transit-rich area.
By redeveloping the Project site to include much-needed housing, a hotel, and a town center, neighborhood services will be provided while enhancing the existing commercial and entertainment uses that Burbank residents currently enjoy.
Why is it important to build housing, especially on this site?
In comparison to much of the surrounding region, Burbank has lagged in the production of new housing units in recent years, adding only 55 residential units since 2011, according to the city’s Community Development Department, while both the population and the number of people working in Burbank have increased during that same period of time.
Burbank is a major employment center in the region and is expected to continue to grow. Burbank 2035 cites the current number of approximately 100,000 jobs to increase by nearly 15% by 2035. When compared to the approximately 44,000 housing units currently in the City, this highlights the City’s employment‐rich community is lacking in housing options for Burbank residents.
The Project site is the ideal location to build new housing as part of a new neighborhood within a revitalized Downtown Burbank as called for in the city’s general plan because it is one of the few sites in Burbank capable of handling increased density without having any immediate impact on adjacent single-family neighborhoods. The Burbank 2035 general plan update outlines a number of policy goals that call for the development of mixed-density and mixed- housing types in commercial areas like Downtown Burbank.
The goal of the policies is multifold:
- locate density in areas that can better accommodate it due to their proximity to transit,
- reduce development pressure on the city’s single-family neighborhoods, and
- improve the jobs-housing balance in the city.
“The area has direct and convenient access to public transit including buses and trains, and the compact nature of the street grid facilitates walking and easy pedestrian access,” the Burbank 2035 plan reads. “The area is well buffered from residential neighborhoods, so any potential effects of higher intensity development on these neighborhoods are minimized.”
Why do people want to live in Downtown Burbank?
The area’s convenient central location, its links to transit, including bus and Metrolink service, and its proximity to a multitude of dining, shopping, and entertainment options make Downtown Burbank a highly desirable place to live. Although Burbank is home to a large and growing number of employers, its housing production has lagged and many of the people working here are often forced to live elsewhere due to the low supply of available housing. If Burbank does not provide sufficient housing for people that work in Burbank, we risk losing amazing companies to nearby cities that will be quick to lure our jobs. Adding a complementary mix of uses and improving the pedestrian atmosphere will make Downtown an even more attractive place to live.
How tall are the proposed buildings?
Seven new structures are being proposed as a part of the proposed mixed-use Project. The heights range from about 88 to 98 feet for the five 7-story apartment buildings, to about 97 feet for the 7-story hotel, to 90 feet for the 101-micro-unit building. All of the proposed heights are less than the currently approved and allowable 205-foot height limitations within Downtown Burbank, PD 89-4 and the General Plan.
Will there be adequate parking provided?
Yes. The existing free parking for the Project will be regulated by a planned development, which will meet the parking requirements adopted by the City Council and will remain free to all Burbank Town Center patrons. The Project includes an addition of more than 1,900 parking stalls and will maintain the three parking garages that currently serve the Burbank Town Center.
What will happen to the former IKEA site?
The location of the former IKEA store at 600 North San Fernando Boulevard, known as Area 4 in the Project application, will be the site of a mixed-use residential-retail complex. Four seven-story buildings will house approximately 797 apartments in a variety of unit types and 37,135 square feet of neighborhood-serving retail-restaurant space will front San Fernando Boulevard. It will include approximately 1,324 new parking stalls.
Approximately 151,181 square feet of resident open space would be provided to surpass the open space requirement, including resort-style amenities with various pools, fitness center, club room, co-working office space, and several lounge/roof decks situated throughout the complex. In addition, there would be two publicly accessible paseos of approximately 37,500 square feet of pedestrian connections through the complex. The paseos will help improve pedestrian connectivity and serve as a safe community gathering space.
What will happen to other adjacent properties/businesses within the Project’s boundaries?
On the site of the Office Depot along Third Street, known as Area 1 in the Burbank Town Center Plan, is proposed either (Option 1A) a 7-story apartment building with 267 apartments and four levels of parking (three underground and one at grade); or (Option 1B) 103,000 square feet of office space and 10 residential units with four levels of parking.
On the site of Corner Bakery at 800 N. San Fernando Blvd., known as Area 2, would be 101 micro-unit apartments and one ground level of parking.
Where the California Pizza Kitchen and Chevy’s now are on the west side of North San Fernando Boulevard, known as Area 5, a 200-room hotel with ground-floor commercial space is proposed. The hotel would be a 7-story structure with ground floor restaurant space facing San Fernando Boulevard.
The existing adjoining parking garage, retail and movie theaters, and restaurants along First Street would remain in place.
Areas 3, 6 and 7 do not include any redevelopment proposals in the Project. However, as a part of ongoing business operations and tenant improvements, there may be some upgrades to occur in the future.
The Project site includes several private street segments – North San Fernando Boulevard between Grinnell Drive and the Burbank Town Center and East Cypress Avenue between North First and North Third Streets -- which entail Area 8 under the proposed Project. Area 8 would consist of the existing roadways, sidewalks and publicly accessible open space, such as the plaza, to be used for a variety of community uses such as farmers’ markets, a performance space, exhibits, outdoor movie screenings, and a holiday ice skating rink.
Does the Project propose to build the maximum number of residential units allowed by the City’s current zoning?
No. The current zoning and General Plan allow 87 residential units per acre to be built. The Project proposes to build 31.5 residential units per acre. Under the permitted density, 3,244 units could be built at the property. The Project proposes 1,173 units.
How many new public-school students will be generated by the project?
An environmental impact report (EIR) that will be prepared by the City of Burbank and reviewed by the Burbank Unified School District (BUSD), will include an analysis of the number of students that are expected as a result of the Project. This analysis will be based on the numbers and types of residential units that are proposed by the Project. State law then requires the Project to pay fees to the District to mitigate the impacts of these students. The quality of Burbank’s schools is a strong component of the city’s rental and for-sale housing market, and the Burbank Town Center project team is committed to doing its part to help maintain that quality. As part of our outreach, we have briefed the BUSD staff about the Project and will continue to keep them updated throughout the city’s entitlement review process.
Is there going to be more traffic? What intersections might be affected?
The environmental impact report (EIR) that the City prepares will study a number of area intersections and nearby freeway on-/off-ramps to determine how the Project will affect traffic and what mitigation measures would be required to improve conditions. A traffic study analyzes how the existing traffic operates, how it would operate in the future without the Project, and in the future with the Project. If there are any significant impacts during the AM or PM peak hours created by the Project, then the city, as a condition of approval, will require the Project to mitigate those impacts.
How green is the Burbank Town Center plan?
The new buildings will incorporate sustainability goals in its land use and siting, water efficiency, drought-tolerant landscaping, and building materials. Wherever feasible, sustainable measures will be incorporated that would be comparable to a LEED Silver certification. In addition, the Burbank Town Center has been using reclaimed water from Burbank Water & Power since 1991. The renovation includes new common area energy-efficient HVAC units and parking garage lighting fixtures. Both of these enhancements will reduce Burbank Town Center's energy footprint.
Is there publicly accessible open space planned as part of the Project?
Yes. A 21,900-square-foot open space plaza will be built at Cypress and North San Fernando. The plaza could be the site of community events, such as art shows, movie nights, musical performances, an ice skating rink, and other special events. The publicly accessible open space would extend along both sides of San Fernando and allow for retail kiosks, outdoor dining, and other activities. The plaza also has the ability to expand across a portion of San Fernando when closed to vehicles for larger festivals and community gatherings. These open spaces are designed to function as the new gathering spot for Downtown Burbank. The goal is to create a walkable, central gathering place for the neighborhood and community while showcasing Burbank’s unique character, small-town charm, and quality of life. More publicly accessible open space will be created by paseos linking the plaza and mall to Third Street and Grinnell Drive, and another paseo connecting Burbank to Grinnell. The landscaped paseos will include seating areas and room for kiosks.
How will the Project improve the pedestrian environment in Downtown Burbank?
The Project has been designed to be a pedestrian-oriented environment supported by the wide, tree-lined sidewalks, wayfaring signs, and enhanced connections to nearby transit stops. According to Walk Score, a nationally recognized resource used to assess walkability, Downtown Burbank scores 90 on the 100-point scale and is considered a “Walker’s Paradise” where many errands do not necessitate driving. The Project will further foster that walkability since it locates housing near employment centers, schools, major employers, city facilities, and the 400-plus businesses located in downtown Burbank.
Who is the developer?
CC Development Partners, a joint venture between CAPREF Manager, a Dallas-based real estate development and investment firm, and Crown Realty and Development, a Costa Mesa based developer, is the project developer. Heading up the development team are Lance W. Taylor, CCIM, of CAPREF and Jim O’Neil of Crown. Jim O’Neil has years of experience developing commercial and residential projects in Burbank.
Who is the architect?
LDA has designed the Burbank Town Center remodel. Located in Burbank and founded in 1996, LDA design group is a full-service architectural firm working closely with developers and retailers to create inspiring built environments across the country and abroad. For more information, please visit http://ldadesigngroup.com/.
TCA Architects has designed the residential portion of the Burbank Town Center project. Founded in 1993, TCA Architects plans and designs multifamily housing and hospitality developments for a variety of clients. The firm’s collaborative approach and technological expertise have resulted in award-winning, sustainable projects that respect communities and the environment. For more information, please visit http://tca-arch.com
How can I stay informed and support this project?
Simply click the “Show Your Support” link at the top right of our website www.iheartburbank.com. The form will ask you to fill out basic contact information so we can keep you informed on project status and the variety of ways you can voice your support where and when it counts.