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Burbank OKs Whole Foods, luxury apartment complex

Burbank will be getting a four-level, 241-unit apartment complex built above a Whole Foods Market after the controversial project was approved this week over the objections of the city’s mayor.

The Talaria at Burbank project, which also includes parking garages with 751 spaces and a full-service restaurant and bar with outdoor seating, had been derided by many residents for offering too little in the way of offsetting traffic impacts, the Burbank Leader reported.

The project at 3401 West Olive Ave. is within walking distance of NBC Studios and Warner Bros., and is close to Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center, prompting fears from residents that it will further strain already busy streets and increase cut-through traffic in their neighborhoods.

In exchange for the City Council’s 4-1 approval of the luxury apartment complex Tuesday night, the developer agreed to pay an additional $100,000 for traffic-calming measures — bringing the total to $250,000 — and make the building more eco-friendly.

The council also agreed to set aside $750,000 for similar measures, including cul-de-sacs in residential neighborhoods to prevent cut-through traffic.

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“I think it is imperative that we restore the quiet,” said Councilwoman Emily Gabel-Luddy. “The neighbors really do deserve to have their neighborhood back.”

But Mayor David Gordon said the mitigation efforts were woefully inadequate, as was the environmental review of the project.

“All of you have dropped the ball,” he said.

He highlighted concerns about pedestrian and wheelchair accessibility, traffic impacts and an exception that will allow developer Michael Cusumano to construct the project with 18 more apartments than would normally be allowed under the city’s general plan.

But supporters of the project contend it will bring more jobs to the city and attract young professionals, some of whom work at the nearby studios and hospital.

Garland is a Times Community News staff writer.

Follow the reporter on Twitter: @chadgarland


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