The Leader did a nice puff piece today on that monstrosity being
planned built at the old IKEA site, with a PR interview and everything. We call it a puff piece because no effort was made to interview anyone else in town about this hideous project, like maybe a critic or two.
The picture’s funny too, because when you have to put Five Guys in as your big draw what you’re actually saying to people is don’t expect too much. In other words, Burbank should consider itself lucky if it still has a Van’s in there when this is all over.
But this was interesting:
While the developer is waiting for the city’s approval on the proposal, Crown Realty will be working with real estate operator CAPREF Manager LLC to revamp the shopping mall.
CAPREF is no stranger to malls in Southern California. It currently manages the Glendale Marketplace in Glendale, the Paseo Colorado in Pasadena and the Strand in Huntington Beach.
“We looked at Burbank and it seemed to be a little underserved,” said Lance Taylor, a director at CAPREF. “We asked ourselves, ‘Can we utilize our vertically integrated company to help revitalize and take Burbank Town Center to its next phase in its life cycle?'”
CAPREF is Cypress, which after the drumming they got last week about their hyper-competitive management philosophy we can see why they’re now wanting to hide behind their property management arm. And the better word for the mall’s future is probably life support.
Cypress actually owns those three sites listed above, and it’s obviously accustomed to sitting on distressed properties. These places do though make good tear-downs for future mixed-use possibilities, which of course is what this is really all about. They want the land.
“We’re trying to give the city a sense of place, a community space where people can come and gather,” he said. “It’s a place for the citizens to come and be with their friends and family and just enjoy themselves. It’s also a place where new employees that are coming into Burbank can call Burbank their home instead of having to live outside the city.”
Plans for the proposed project are still at early stages and have yet to be submitted to the city. O’Neil said his company will do what it takes to build the mixed-use development within the Downtown Specific Plan and not ask for any variances.
What if you’re not a citizen? We’re charmed though by the idea that those Vans and Five Guys employees are going to be able to move into the $3,000 a month apartments being planned for the upstairs. Or anyone else who’s truly “new.”
Yeah. Unless the company is planning on turning some of those “mixed use” units into mass employee dorms that look like something out of provincial China, it’s a lie. No way in hell, and that means he’s already insulted us before the place has even been built.
Love the chop also about how they’re not really intended for current residents. Just noticed that. Like what’s he talking about? And who is he talking about?
Nice too that by putting in 750 residential units on less than a square block of downtown commercial property they think they won’t need any special permission in Burbank. After the way Sue Georgino sold us out with those 21st-century Big Growth planning changes that she was able to sneak through during that decade or so when most of the Burbank City Council members were smug, silent, or asleep, they probably won’t.
How’s life in Costa Rica, SG? Or wherever it is. Still having those fancy Burbank parties down there?