The long-awaited Avion project, which is proposed to be a combination of light-industrial buildings, multiple office campuses and a hotel, is one step closer to receiving the green light from Burbank officials.
The Burbank Planning Board unanimously voted on Monday to recommend the City Council approve the development.
Developer Overton Moore Properties plans to build on the 61-acre area, known as the B-6 site, located just north of the Hollywood Burbank Airport on Hollywood Way. The project is proposed to have six industrial buildings, nine two-story office buildings, two retail or restaurant spaces and a six-story, 150-room hotel.
The Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority, which sold the site to Overton Moore in November 2015 for $72.5 million, is in the works to construct a 14-gate replacement terminal next to the B-6 site.
The Avion project, if approved by the City Council during a future meeting, would be the first major development to be built in Burbank’s Golden State District — an area near the airport focused on being a technology and media industry hub in the city.
Timur Tecimer, chief executive of Overton Moore, said on Tuesday that the developer is eager to start construction this year, and company officials hope they can break ground in August.
In order for the project to be constructed, Overton Moore had to request a zoning change for a portion of the property that is currently designated for airport use.
Additionally, a few components of the project’s environmental impact report, specifically air quality and traffic, require a statement of overriding considerations because they cannot be mitigated, said Scott Plambaeck, a deputy city planner for Burbank.
He said nitrogen-oxide levels around the project site would significantly increase because of additional vehiclar traffic and having industrial facilities on the site.
Plambaeck added that there would be unavoidable negative impacts to traffic when the project is complete, particularly on Hollywood Way, Buena Vista Street and San Fernando Boulevard.
Although air quality is expected to decrease and traffic is projected to increase if Avion is built, Plambaeck said the developer is hoping that those who work in the business park will take advantage of public-transportation options — there are Metrolink lines located north and south of the project as well as protected bicycle lanes.
One way the developer plans to incentivize people to use public transportation, especially Metrolink, is by dedicating 60 public parking spaces on the site for those who choose to travel via railways.
Despite the air-quality and traffic issues, Planning Board members were in full support of the project because of its potential as a modern campus for new and existing technology, media and aerospace companies.
Additionally, the project is expected to provide the city with up to $23.5 million in public benefits, which would include helping the city build a new electric substation, maintenance of the Metrolink’s north station, the 60 public parking spaces and maintenance of the right-of-way within and adjacent to the site.