1,000 more apartments coming to Downtown


Wonderful. The New Burbank.

We tried to warn people about this horror back when the council foolishly allowed staff to, as part of “Burbank2035,” make it as easy as pie for Burbank’s older commercial areas to be converted into lucrative “mixed use” apartment zones for outside landlords and developers.

Cypress Equities has acquired a majority stake, or 1 million square feet, in the Burbank Town Center shopping plaza for $250 million and plans to pump an additional $55 million into renovations and upgrades, REAlert reported.

Located around the intersection of East Magnolia Boulevard and San Fernando Boulevard, the center stretches 37 acres — and eight blocks — in Downtown Burbank. The main portion of the mall is 99 percent leased. Anchor tenants include Macy’s, Sears and Burlington.

Cypress is also partnering with the now-minority owner, Crown Realty & Development, on the remaining portion of the plaza, a 206,000-square-foot storefront that IKEA will be vacating. The partners plan on redeveloping the property into a seven-story, mixed-use complex with 1,000 apartments and 50,000 square feet of retail space. The parcel is valued at $35 million. Cypress’ stake in this portion of the center is unknown.

A thousand apartments? [update: could that huge number possibly be correct?] That also means 1,000 new apartments up on the Hill. Not just “downtown.”

Imagine what would happen if someone wanted to put a thousand units anywhere else in Burbank…

Like the Rancho.

All hell would break loose. And this comes right on the tail of the Cusumano’s Twin Tower Rancheria Fantasia project six block away.

They’ll all be low income of course, which means that this huge an influx of new units will cause the market for our existing apartment stock to fall. So that’s all good.

This is how the “market” works, right? You know, supply and demand? The more the supply the less the cost to the consumer. It’s wonderful how magically this works, too. Free enterprise at its finest — like a finely tuned Swiss Watch.

Right landlords?






You mean they’re not going to be low income? They’re going to be rather high in rent instead?

Which then will give the rest of our city’s landlords absolutely no incentive to keep their own rents down. Because that’s how it works.

This is why we need rent control in Burbank. Increasing the local housing supply will NOT keep rents affordable. The exact opposite will happen.

Just watch.






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24 responses to “1,000 more apartments coming to Downtown

  1. Anonymous

    How on earth would that even work over there ? 1,000 units lots approx 140 apartments on each floor. Crammed in there , already the parking structures are the worst over there, where will,people park? But watch, the council will pass it cuz it will be LEED ,and all that crap. What about the Cusomno thing going up and on First? And lest we forget that San Frenando upgrade they all approved awhile back. Ever try driving around barnes and Noble, etc over there? It’s insane

  2. Anonymous

    Yippee! 2,000 more bicycles!

  3. Anonymous

    One question where’s all the water going to come from?

    • Anonymous 3

      A non-argument.

      Water is a regional issue, and people are regional as well. There will not suddenly be 2000+ more PEOPLE in the desert southwest, the overall demand for water will not change.

      • DixieFlyer


        We, the People of Burbank have been told to save over ONE Billion gallons of water.

        We did it.

        The Governor told all of us to continue to conserve through October.

        Rain or Not.

        EACH Water Agency has been informed how much to save.

        Maybe anon 3 missed the publicity including the FINE$?!?!

        She spends so much time sarcastically wasting our time.

      • Anonymous

        “Anonymous 3
        May 8, 2016 at 12:12 pm
        A non-argument.
        Water is a regional issue, and people are regional as well. There will not suddenly be 2000+ more PEOPLE in the desert southwest, the overall demand for water will not change.”

        Here’s a “non-argument”….you’re an idiot! Your stupid “regional issue” is nothing more than a straw man argument. More units equals more people, equals more water use, period. People with a IQ above 50 call it “growth”, stupid.

  4. chad

    In terms of livability that area is just about maxed-out. If this was an east coast city, increasing density like that would be more acceptable as most people wouldn’t bother having cars. Unless we change the car culture/attitude, places like this will simply backfire and become dangerous, i.e., overrun with traffic. It made by a LEED Building but it doesn’t create a LEED environment in the immediate area. I keep hearing that young people are choosing alternatives to cars. Really? In whose dream scenario is that? Developments like that are sold to cities with this utopian vision of a new Los Angeles where everyone uses public transportation, walks, bikes, Ubers. etc…Reality suggests an altogether different view. Moreover, because people change jobs so often, especially in the entertainment industry, it is very difficult to set up a long term commute schedule. One year, you may working at Universal, the next in Santa Monica. Good luck with that if you live in downtown Burbank. Do you think people who live in downtown Burbank will take the Exhibition line to Santa Monica? I think there would be some high anxiety on the eastern half of that route for Burbankians. Let’s say from USC to LaBrea.

    • semichorus

      Good point about the modern So Cal commuter.

      And like somebody pointed out, the traffic down there is already bad. Horrible at times.

      If this were ANYWHERE ELSE IN BURBANK it would be a total nonstarter. Only the Hill gets the shaft like this — as if huge growth up there is a total given, and so what are you all complaining about? No question about it.. so nothing else to see here…

      Can you imagine someone proposing 1,000 sudden new apartments in the RANCHO area? The staff and council handwringing over it would be heard all round the world.

  5. On the Cypress website: “We adhere to a management philosophy that emphasizes accountability and results – a survival-of-the-fittest, competitive environment that drives the professional development of our people.”


    • semichorus

      Jesus H. Christ.

      The end is near. What assholes.

      How totally and completely sick. What vileness. And they’re just so fucking unashamed about it all. Whatever it takes, eh?

      This attitude alone should be a deal-breaker for Burbank. (That kind of rank Ayn-Randism also doesn’t drive the best performance or work, either. Just the most scared and expedient.)

  6. LOL! I Luv Burbank too, and while I agree with the comments re improving & opening up the commercial shopping area ala the Americana, Santa Monica Place etc., no way in the world I & most of the people I know are supporting a project with 1000 units – not even close! Try 200-250 with a 10-15% affordable-housing component and maybe we can talk. #NOiHeartBurbank

    • semichorus

      25 percent affordable set-asides. Or the maximum the law allows.

      SET-ASIDES, council. Not slush money into some “housing fund” for $1,500 a month city apts — at those make-work projects for Burbank’s $150,000 a year ex-RDA employees.

      Yes, I know, staff giggles at the idea, but so what.

      And fuck Rogers if he doesn’t come out for something like this. If the council votes to approve these plans, what it means is that they will ALSO be voting for big rent increases on Burbank’s current and long-term tenants.

      The prevailing rents in town will skyrocket.

      I focus on Rogers because he of all people should know better, and he’s in a position to both lobby and warn the others.

      Do I have too much faith in the guy? Or Burbank?

      Let’s see.

  7. Anonymous

    Rogers is a cowardly cork-screw spine rat bastard strictly in-it-for-himself city hall shill. Get real, Semi.

    • semichorus

      Possibly. But he and the rest are now on the spot about this. No hiding behind the city manager any more– or hiring million-dollar Downtown LA law firms to obfuscate the issues and deliberately confuse the hell out of everyone.

    • Anonymous 3

      It is the maturity of your argument that makes it so compelling.

  8. Anonymous 3

    They will obviously be building underground parking where IKEA currently sits (there is none now) and hopefully enough.

    The real question to me is will the streets be able to handle the traffic?

    Your pal Gordon has already ruled out rent control. You should take that up with him.

    As for low income set asides, yes, as many as practical under the law.

    But we will never see rent control in Burbank. Certainly not as long as Gordon is on council.

  9. Citizen Cane

    The city sees 1000 apartments as another source of tax rebus. Forget quality of life in Burbank. Cramming people into this city is changing Burbank from what it was, a quiet bedroom community to an overcrowded traffic congested nightmare. This is another justification as to why a left Burbank for open spaces.

  10. Anonymous

    SemiChorus: “This is how the “market” works, right? You know, supply and demand? The more the supply the less the cost to the consumer. It’s wonderful how magically this works, too. Free enterprise at its finest — like a finely tuned Swiss Watch.”

    NOT ALWAYS TRUE! Burbank is a hot market and given the fact that hot markets can never supply the needed housing units for the demand, the prices go up not down. Here’s proof to my statement:


    • semichorus

      I was being sarcastic. This is what landlords and some city spokesmen (like Sue Georgino) like to say whenever someone comes along and starts talking about getting rent control in Burbank. They always say, “No, we just need more supply! More apartment building in town will bring down the rents, because there’s so much need for housing here!!!”

      Not so. In theory, yes, if someone came along and built 10,000 new cheap units. But in the absence of this the exact opposite will happen. Big new expensive construction will just boost the existing rents.

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