A funding agreement between the California High-Speed Rail Authority and the city of Burbank will pay for much of a $1.2-million planning process for what high-speed rail officials are calling a "world-class multimodal transportation hub," including a proposed bullet train station adjacent to Bob Hope Airport.
The rail authority this week announced it would provide $800,000 for the planning effort. The airport area already includes a recently completed transportation center with rental car businesses, as well as Amtrak and Metrolink stations, bus services, taxis and ride-share services.
High-speed rail officials have proposed three potential station locations on the former Lockheed "B6" property, also called the "Opportunity Site," which the Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority agreed in November to sell to Gardena-based Overton Moore Properties for $72.5 million.
Overton Moore representatives have said they are willing to work with the rail authority. In an interview this week, Mayor Bob Frutos said the developer has discussed with him plans for flexible office space and a hotel on the site.
The Burbank City Council voted to accept the state grant, which is largely made up of 2009 federal stimulus money and includes $200,000 from California's cap-and-trade program, at the end of September. The money will also be used to explore opportunities for related economic development and sustainability in the airport area.
Burbank will provide a matching $400,000, mostly from a Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transit Authority grant. The effort is expected to take 18 to 24 months and will involve public outreach to develop conceptual designs for the station area as part of its Golden State Specific Plan and environmental review in the airport area.
The cities of Merced, Fresno, Bakersfield, Gilroy and Palmdale have entered into similar agreements with the bullet-train authority.
Chad Garland, email@example.com