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BURBANK : Council to Vote on New Name Proposal

Downtown by any other name may still be Burbank, but don’t tell that to the boosters at the Downtown Burbank Stakeholders Assn.

Trying to promote a revitalization of Burbank’s downtown district, the group has proposed a new name: Burbank Village. The City Council will vote on whether to lend its support to the proposed named change tonight.

The association, which for the past couple of years has been an informal group of downtown merchants and property owners, this month adopted a formal charter and with about $47,000 in city redevelopment funds has begun planning a possible special business improvement district for a revitalization of the neighborhood.

“It’s a different place than it was when Johnny Carson was talking about it,” said Gwen Pentecost, executive director. “We’re in the process of making ‘beautiful downtown Burbank’ a reality and not just a joke.”

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Its first order of business was to find a new name, settled on earlier this month after just three weeks of seeking suggestions from property owners, merchants and the public. The association board voted for Burbank Village over “City Center Village,” and “Media Village.”

The part of town proposed for the new name is eight block area bounded by Magnolia Boulevard, First Street, Angeleno Avenue and Third Street. Many residents still refer to the area as the “Golden Mall,” a reference to a pedestrian mall along three blocks of San Fernando Road from 1967 to 1989.

The mall was a financial failure and the road was reopened to automobile traffic. The new name is meant to signal a break with the past and a rejuvenation of the economy already prompted by new theaters and restaurants moving into the downtown area, Pentecost said.

Pentecost added that so far she has come across only one person who wanted the name to remain “Golden Mall.”

Burbank Village, she said, is already being used by merchants.

“I think Burbank would like the success of the Third Street Promenade,” said Pentecost, who had been operations manager and comptroller for that project. “But Burbank is a very different community from Santa Monica. It would be foolish to try to transplant Santa Monica to Burbank.”


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