$100-Million Burbank Plaza Approved


Construction is expected to begin in February on the $100-million Burbank Plaza, a three-acre development that will bring a 300-room Marriott hotel, an eight-floor office building and an art-house movie theater to Burbank's downtown area.

The Burbank City Council voted 4 to 1 last week to approve a development agreement with Beverly Hills-based Regent Properties for the project, which was first proposed in January 1998.

The project, which is expected to open in the summer of 2001, also will include 68,000 square feet of retail space (including the theater), a 13,000-square-foot home for the Burbank Masons, and landscaped public plazas. The project will take shape about three blocks south of the Media City Center mall in an area bordered by Olive and Angeleno avenues, 3rd Street and San Fernando Boulevard.

The Burbank Redevelopment Agency has offered up $7.4 million in incentives for the project--an assistance package the developer said was crucial.

"The incentive package was critical to the overall success of the project," said Jeff Dinkin, managing partner with Regent. "In light of the land costs and the high costs of providing subterranean parking and the . . . public plazas, the city subsidy was essential to making the numbers pencil out."

Ruth Davidson-Guerra, Burbank's senior development project manager, said the redevelopment agency would provide $5.6 million in cash assistance, half of which the company could access to help fund construction of a 984-space underground garage. The other $2.8 million would be made available only after the entire project is open.

An additional $1.77 million will cover infrastructure work and fees.

Davidson-Guerra said that in the first 20 years after the project is open, the city expects it to bring in $60 million in revenue from the hotel bed tax and increased sales and property taxes.

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