If these towns really believed in affordable housing, they would be actively promoting the construction of 21st-century SROs


But, they don’t.

Burbank used to be full of single room occupancies. Downtown Burbank along Third Street from Verdugo to Providencia had loads of high-quality SRO housing. They were all there until the late 70s to 80s, too.

Bet you didn’t know that, did you? Remember those many 1920-1930 apartment buildings near the old Italian Men’s Club on Verdugo right above the Mall? Most of those were single room occupancy. We all drove by them. Same with Third.

SRO means rooms with shared baths and kitchens, usually four on a floor. Occasionally you’d find one with both if you wanted to pay a bit more per month. They were seen as a civilized housing alternative for many, many people back in the early to mid-20th century — as were boarding houses, an ancient form of residency that had its own particular benefits and social advantages, especially when you got old.

There are still some SROs around, although we’re not aware of any in Burbank. They’re basically outlawed in the City’s zoning code. Glendale has two that we know of: what’s left of the YMCA on Louise after the re-developers got through with it, and the old Maryland Hotel on Wilson.

As one Yelper put it, the Maryland resembles an old-style European hotel from the early 20th century, and with all of the same attendant charms. It’s totally and completely hip, we think, and so naturally the City of Glendale is doing everything it can to get the owner to ruin the place as they did with that now horridly overpriced “Brandwood” joint up on Brand.

Get it? Brandwood? That’s what turns into “affordability” in towns like Burbank and Glendale. It’s because the people who run these two cities don’t really care. Those six-figure boys and girls really have no idea what “affordable” is.

Build some modern SROs, Burbank. They’re the wave of the future. Its either that or you’ll soon become overrun with lots and lots of roommate-strangers. Everywhere.

Think not? Just wait.



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11 responses to “If these towns really believed in affordable housing, they would be actively promoting the construction of 21st-century SROs

  1. Jinx Fodder

    It smells like really old people in this blog! I mean…REALLY OLD!

    • semichorus

      Nope. Just people who know things.

      Enjoy your future traffic and congestion, btw. And all those “public transportation” trips they think you’ll be taking.

      This organized attempt to characterize local political criticism as the domain of creepsters and aged idiot folk — which is what actively occurred during last year’s airport vote — is not I think going to play as well in the upcoming fight over Big Development. So nice try.

      You know what I really hate about most young people these days, besides their mass conventionality and unimaginativeness? They’re simply not young any more — just pigheaded ignoramuses worse than any old person I ever knew. And so reactionary/establishment when it comes to true political and economic change.

      I’m around them all the time, and I also constantly hear similar complaints from people in their 40s. They come off like proud Rotary Club members who think that — but for a few tweeks here and there –this is the best of all possible worlds.

      (As if they know what that is. Or care!)

      Anyway, now we know how this big development battle is going to proceed: Only creepy old people are against having multiple 10-story mega-projects full of thousands of overpriced apartments right near their residential neighborhoods.

      How much have the movers and shakers been paying for this PR slant? Or are our local boosters so stupid now that they work for free? At least Rogers was smart enough to take money for his changeable opinions.

      Enjoy your new Burbank, folks. And what’s left of your youth.


      She’s right. And it’s gonna be a nightmare. Young people these days are NOT liberal.

  2. Anonymous

    Best of all possible worlds.Everything is as it should be.
    Voltaire/Candide lives!
    (Measure B is just the beginning.The barn door is open.)

    • semichorus

      Yep. And we’re not gonna let all those creepy old people get in the way. They’re so icky.

      The New Burbank. Built for the 21st century!

  3. Gary

    The hipsters will be happy it’s Mayor Luddy and Vice Mayor\ Springer. Those two will make Burbank worse than ever and as for the hipsters pay close attention as they make rents off the chart unaffordable with their ideas of big development and public transportation. You people will be paying for it with what little you soon will have left.

    • semichorus

      I agree. Except for one thing. They’re not hip!

      If only they were. If so they’d be demanding 1920’s style singles and efficiencies with all those high ceilings, or converted industrial space. And they’d be correct in doing so.

  4. Linda

    I really believe that Burbank is quickly changing from the place everyone wants to live in and nobody wants to leave to the place nobody will soon want to live in. Get ready the days of Burbank are quickly coming to an end and then they will really see budget problems. If you do not have an exit plan yet you better start to plan I am sure the likes of Luddy, Springer and Frutos already have an exit plan in place.

  5. Ted

    Has everyone noticed that these we love Burbank so much council members usually leave Burbank after they leave the council ? Look at Golonski and that horrid Reinke as just two examples. They do their damage they get what they could get and they leave town.

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