How about building some affordable apartments?


welcome to burbank

Set-asides people. Set-asides.

If we had a decent city council this would be a complete deal breaker for the project:

Burbank planning officials and a local developer gathered additional information and listened to concerns from residents before they draft a report for a proposed large-scale, mixed-use project in the downtown area.

Michael Cusumano, co-owner of Cusumano Real Estate Group, presented plans during a scoping meeting Monday night for Premier on First, a project that would be built on a 1.8-acre lot on First Street between Verdugo and Tujunga avenues. It will include high-end apartment units and either a hotel or an office building, according to the plans.

The development group is looking to build a 14-story tower at the corner of First and Verdugo consisting of 154 apartment units and about 10,400 square feet of retail space on the ground level. The building is planned to have 445 parking spaces, a swimming pool and a roof deck.

Cusumano said that he did not know what rent for the one-bedroom, two-bedroom and penthouse units would cost, but he estimated the units would lease for about $2.75 to $3 per square foot.

“These will be upper-income apartments,” he said.

From that figure alone he knows damn well what the prospective rents will be. He just doesn’t want to say it.

What the hell is going on in this town? The last thing we need are these kind of ersatz high-end units. Didn’t Mark Scott finally move away, the poor thing? He was the only person we’ve ever heard say they couldn’t find any acceptable places to live here on their income level.

You know something’s gone seriously wrong when your own city manager-pick has the audacity to make such a ridiculously spoiled and lame complaint about his new place of business. Burbank wasn’t the problem on that one. It was him.

Where the hell do these people think they live? Or are building? This is a totally unnecessary and undesirable project as well, one that is completely out of scale with the surrounding area.

The Burbank City Council also needs to start requiring these lofty minded developers to set aside a good number of lower- and moderate-income units as a strict condition for their approval.  That’s an ordinance we’re looking forward to see go on the books.








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24 responses to “How about building some affordable apartments?

  1. Anonymous 3

    Possibly “affordable” apartments don’t generate enough revenue to justify the cost of building them. Construction workers make pretty good money.

    • semichorus

      Sorry, Burbank doesn’t have prevailing wage laws. So there’s no excuse here.

      Ted McConkey once tried to get them — right before Rogers and his friends started going after him.

      I love your sarcastic “affordable” in quotes. Obviously you can.

      Fuck Democrats. You’re positively useless now — which is why you’re going to lose big in November.

      • Anonymous

        A3: arrogant, dismissive, haughty, relentlessly propagating an anachronistic caste system mentality that only reveals what a toxic, bigoted, self absorbed, destructive, thoroughly un-American jerk she is. Yet still believes the sun shines out of her asshole.

        Vintage Burbank status quo . . .

      • Anonymous 3

        Construction workers don’t need a prevailing wage. They have their unions.

        • semichorus

          Most aren’t union members any more.

          • Anonymous 3

            I’d not bet on that. Regardless, they make real money. The whole point, which you don’t seem to want to face s that it costs a lot to build apartments, so much that they are no longer affordable.

            • semichorus

              Then don’t build them.

              I also don’t believe that. I do believe though that they make much MORE money renting out expensive ones.

              I know that in this day in age, not making the most money possible equals the same thing as “losing” money. But not in my world.

              It’s also why we need mandatory set-asides. You want to build in wonderful Burbank? Ok, then you have to set aside a good number of affordable units.

              Instead, we always whore this town out cheap. Wonder why.

  2. chad

    And one of the reason construction workers make “pretty good” money is because of unions. Point here is that Burbank is now under siege from developers and I’m not sure the people downtown identify with the average Burbankian who is negatively affected by this. Mark Scott’s absurd comment about not being able to “afford” an apartment in Burbank underscores this out of touch relationship. Today’s political “leaders” see themselves as people who should chum up to the rich and powerful so that the people they represent can get the crumbs that fall to the ground. Whatever happened to questioning the powerful and putting the people first and not one’s own career or padded pension. A slow but deliberate change started in the 80’s and we see the devastation of this new type of politician today who does nothing other than rubber stamp things for the privileged. I’m sorry but sometimes things are that simple.

    • semichorus

      Scott said he could afford one, not just one that was suitable for his purposes.

      Yes, and I blame this new breed of right-wing business Republican. They really are intent on destroying everything for their own purposes.

  3. Anonymous

    Don’t really get pic? No one has money in front of them but 5 dollar chips.

  4. Anonymous 3

    I guess for a fired janitor a five dollar chip is a lot

    • Anonymous 3

      Somebody is using my moniker.

      • semichorus

        They’re doing a better job with it than you are.

        • Anonymous 3

          Yes, twitting you for being a fired janitor is a high bar to jump.

          • semichorus

            Tell your Burbank establishment friends that no one was fired. Their sources are lying. Rather, I told this employer to go fuck themselves. And the only reason I didn’t pursue legal action against them at the time was because several out-of-town attorneys had warned me repeatedly that this entity would immediately take retaliatory action against any relatives of mine who were still working for them if and when I did.

            Which they did anyway.

            One attorney I spoke to in the early 1990s told me that I had the best First Amendment reprisal case against a public employer that he’d ever seen. When school administrators reprimand you in public in front of people for writing a letter to the editor about various unattended school problems, and then threaten you with disciplinary action for the same letter because of something they repeatedly call “insubordination,” the jig is up. That kind of supervisorial behavior is blatantly illegal.

            So I know the score with this mentality. When a local judge– one of Burbank’s favorites — previously has to block their state funds day-by-day because this same employer refuses to abide by an earlier adverse arbitration decision against them that they don’t happen to like — because it incriminates them for illegal retaliatory behavior, and from their own strike-list arbitrator no less — you know you’re not dealing with rational people.

            Or very smart ones.

  5. Anonymous

    ‘this new type of politician today who does nothing other than rubber stamp things for the privileged.’

    Well said Chad and it is the motto of Telamontez and Frutos who always do exactly as staff says, after all they need to listen to the experts when they have no sense of their own. Telamontez and Frutos love developers and never follow up on any promises they make to the residents when it comes to protection. Call either one of them about a problem with a development they approved and feel the hot air come out of them as they blow you off and say what am I suppose to do.

    • Eddie

      When Talapia and Cuso were driving neighbors to distraction with dirt, dirt, dirt—where was Mayor Tutti-Fruiti?
      Regular Citizen’s finally got through to the Building Dept for relief.
      Ole “Call Me Tellamoron” was “out-to-lunch” also.
      Staff responded this time, electeds fumbled the ball.

  6. Anonymous

    The pensioners up there are the rich ones. It is why they will never relate to anything that happenes to regular working folks. In fact the City is about to go into the red from pensions next year. Less services to come no cuts to employee levels they still have redevelopment shills padding their pensions.

    • semichorus

      I’m a big fan of old-fashioned fixed-benefit pensions, and public pensions. I don’t see how people are going to be able to get by on Social Security and cheesy 401Ks alone.

      But NONE of these public pensions should be more than 40 or 50 thousand a year. If people can’t get by on that much (plus SS) by the time they retire, with all that they’ve accrued during their working life, then they have no business retiring.

      Most retirees have MUCH less.

      • Anonymous

        The only people getting pensions today and the rest of us are getting ZIPP and then they want to force us to pay taxes to support the government elites its bull crap. These government people are taking care of themselves and it needs to end.

        • semichorus

          Yes, but the solution is not a race to the bottom for everbody.

          Private sector employees need to unionize and get good contracts. Like they did 70 and 80 years ago.

          The struggle never ends.

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