Got tipped off about this web page today. These are (apparently) some outside observations about that wannabee “Premier” downtown skyscraper project now being pushed through by the Cusumanos.
Local developer, Michael Cusmano, gave an excellent presentation of the project and answered questions in an informative manner. I expected to see community backlash to his proposal at the [Planning Board] meeting, as there was to the Cusmano Real Estate Group’s now under construction, 5 story, 241 unit, Talaria project. This may just be because Burbank NIMBYs do not yet know about this project, or hopefully because the site of the proposed project is not adjacent to any single-family households, as the Talaria project is.
While there was no opposition present, the threat of it clearly influenced some of the decisions relating to its size. The project is entitled to apply for a 25% density bonus and a reduction in parking required since it is within a quarter mile of the Downtown Burbank Metrolink station. The developers decided to apply for neither. During the question period, I asked Mr. Cusmano why this was. In regards to the density bonus, the answer essentially boiled down to the fear that it would anger local residents. I would like to point out he said in much more respectful and articulate way. The parking requirements this project must meet are absolutely ridiculous. In the residential tower, 1.75 parking spaces must be provided for every one bedroom unit, and 2 parking spaces must be provided for every two bedroom unit. In addition 1 guest parking spot must be provided for every 4 units, and 3.3 parking spaces must be provided for every 1,000 sq. ft. of retail space. This brings the grand total of parking spaces in the first phase to 445 spaces, which averages out to 2.89 spaces per residential unit.
Here’s the extra-hilarious part:
Mr. Cusmano knows that there is a generational shift happening where Millennials, which are the demographic which will most likely end up living in this building, are revolutionizing the way we get around, and becoming less likely to own cars. He drew on examples from his personal life about his kids who are currently in college enjoy taking the train places. He says many of their friends do not own cars and enjoy that.
Consequently he believes that is almost certain that 445 parking spaces are too many, and the garage will never be full. He hypothesizes that twenty years from now, a large proportion of the parking spaces in this tower, as well as in the Talaria project, will sit empty and unused. So why doesn’t the Cusmano Real Estate Group apply for a parking reduction? Once again, it’s due to the fear of community opposition.
Bullshit. His kids’ friends have cars when and if they want and need them. They leave them at home when they’re taking the Acela to Manhattan. And are these going to be apartments for college kids? Bullshit again on the claim that the parking spaces will be empty some day.
On Planet Xenon maybe. Which we figure is somewhere north by northwest of Malibu.
These people are just so un-fucking-believable, aren’t they? The absolute contempt they have for their listeners. Will the council be stupid enough to fall for their inane crap?