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  1. Anonymous

    Semi, here’s a link to a Bloomberg article that shoots holes into the Developers and City Staff Planners arguments that “millennials” are not car buyers. Yeah, they aren’t car buyers until they can afford them, then they are! But, this silly smoke and mirrors argument is being used to justify the building of huge density apartment corridors here in Burbank, apartments the “millennials” can’t currently afford, but oh, won’t certain developers be getting richer in the meantime!!!!!

    • semichorus

      I predicted this sort of thing back when staff got the council (through Burbank2035) to allow quick rezones of the commercial and manufacturing properties in town. In the name of “mixed use.”

      The big new bonanza for cheesy developers: liberate old commercial zones on the major boulevards for tacky apartments. All pre-planned, obviously.

      I knew something was up. Only Gordon voted against it.

  2. Anonymous

    Please do with this post, lifted from “The City of Burbank” FB page, as you see fit:

    This is the Cusumano proposed development project:
    “Premier on First Street”

    A Development Review – Community/EIR Scoping Meeting.

    Date: 03/28/2016 6:00 PM – 7:30 PM
    Location: Community Services Building, Room 104 (1st Floor)
150 N. Third Street
Burbank, California 91502
    (link to bulletin is at the bottom of the post)

    This is a two tower / two phase project.
    1. a 14 story apartment complex.
    2. a 13 story hotel, or a 12 story office building (TBD)

    ONE bedroom apartments: 830-880 sq. feet
    TWO bedroom apartments: 1140 – 1150 sq. ft.

    Costs per square foot estimate according to Michael Cusumano: $2.75 -$3.00 per sq ft. (1 bdrm. Apt. est. costs $2282.50 – $2640.00.

    Michael Cusumano: “These will be upper-income apartments”

    But, he sells it on the premise of a need for housing for the millennials to live in. Yet, millennials tell us costs are too high to live in Burbank, and that that is mostly due to a so-called shortage of housing.

    Hmmm, there seems to be a disconnect, am I missing something here?

    Here’s a quote from a propaganda piece written about the project:

    “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”

    Here is the link to the article:

    Here’s some questions I’d like to get answered if allowed to ask questions at the meeting. Perhaps if you attend you too can ask some of these questions or some of your own.

    1. Developers like you tell us the millennial generation needs housing. And, we know, due to college loan debt and low pay, no benefits, high housing costs etc. it would be hard for a millennial to find affordable housing in Burbank.. Well, you are quoted as stating the Talaria apartments will cost about $4000.00 per unit. And now this project you want to build will have a ONE BEDROOM unit costing approx. $2282.50 – $2640.00. How do you propose a millennial is going to be able to afford that kind of rent?

    2. Why 14 stories? Is it just because you’re allowed?

    3. Do you believe downtown is already congested with vehicle traffic? Either way, Staff is telling us they want bike paths around downtown and elsewhere, so given the APARTMENT CORRIDOR attempting to be built up and down 1st street i.e., your project and the 2 city block 5+ story “Village on First” project about 3 blocks away, so is a detailed traffic study going to be implemented that incorporates bicycle traffic into the equations and will the results and methodology be made EASILY available to council and the public?

    4. Is a study going to be made and available for council and public inspections about wind tunnel effects of said “corridors”?

    5. Water? We are coming off the worst 3 years of drought in the western United States in the 150+ years of record keeping? And we know Staff likes to revert to the decades old master plan and the newly developed Burbank General Plan 2035 as justification why they allow such huge projects…ie. because they can, BUT, does that really justify the tremendous drain on our water supply, especially when we are being told to conserve water and being penalized if we don’t?

    6 . Doesn’t smaller projects mean less water being used, less traffic, less pollution, less people etc. ? Why do you have to max out or go above the max like when Staff allows the 25% density bonus? Why not smaller since we already have, NOW, so many problems such as crowded schools, rising crime, bad traffic etc.?

    7. Does staff have any plans or will you have plans that the public and council can review about your ideas of mitigation for such things as:
    A. the onslaught of future traffic.
    B. the current over-crowding in our school system?

    8. Traffic in downtown and many other areas is bad and only getting worse, so how do you justify the obvious increase in traffic, especially with the 4.7 million sq. feet of commercial space already slated in and around your Talaria with a Whole Foods coming on line and the state recommendation of Burbank needing 4500 new residential units, of which only a coupla hundred have been built?

    9. Mr. Cusumano has been paraphrased as stating “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”. Well, what is that based on? Any study? And in the mean time what happens during those 20 years? Do we move to Malibu like Mr. Cusumano has already done?

    10. Mr. Cusumano has stated that his kids “enjoy taking the train places”. Well, Mr. Cusumano, is that to and from work? To and from college? Or is it just for vacation trips? Do you take a train from Malibu to your office here in Burbank? Or is there no train system for that? Do your kids own cars? Can you tell us how a metro station and system is truly going to relive Burbank of all these growth problems and peoples need to travel to and from locations if the train system is decades away but the high density growth projects are happening now?

    11. For staff, do you have or will you be doing a formal presentation of this decades old master plan? So, citizens can get a glimpse of what is happening for a clearer understanding. Because what we see being attempted is an URBANIZATION of Burbank, a Burbank that many consider and want to stay a SUBURB?

    • semichorus

      I’ll set this out as a separate entry next week. Thank you for the update.

      Yes, these apartments will serve no useful purpose in Burbank. We need affordable units, and people with that kind of income do NOT want to live in Burbank.

      Toluca Lake area, possibly. But not Burbank mainland. Plus, these “upper income” places will boost the rents of every other unit in town. When “prevailing rent” for a two-bedroom apartment in Burbank becomes $2400, all the old ones go up as well.

      And when the tenants complain about the raises, they’ll be told by the Landlord-Tenant Commission that, “You’re rent is actually below market….” That’s what they do now if you’re not paying $1600 for a one-bedroom. You’re told that “You’re lucky.” For real.

      Desktop/phone call complaints btw are NO longer being accepted by the city for the LTC. You have to show up in person to complain about your landlord. Last year the landlords got staff to talk the LTC and council into dropping that consumer service.

      There’s also something similar being planned project-wise on Front Street by an investment combine. Too much of nothing.

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