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Ahead of EIR vote, City Council takes tour of proposed business park near airport

The Burbank City Council held its meeting Wednesday night in an unusual location — a Burbank city bus.

City Council members, city staffers and residents were taken on a tour guided by a representative from a developer proposing to build a project called Avion on more than 61 acres near the Hollywood Burbank Airport. The tree-lined complex would include a 150-room hotel, office and retail spaces as well as more than 1 million square feet of industrial space divided among six buildings.

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Overton Moore Properties purchased the area, known as the B-6 site, from the Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority, the airfield’s owner, for $72.5 million in late 2015.

It’s on a portion of this same site where airport officials plan to build a 14-gate replacement terminal. Money from the sale to Overton Moore is slated to partially fund the terminal’s construction.

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Timur Tecimer, chief executive of Overton Moore, led the bus tour around different parts of the property, outlining his firm’s vision for creative work spaces for industries such as digital media, clothing and entertainment.

At the insistence of city staff, the complex includes 7-foot-wide, multipurpose paths throughout the site to encourage the employees of future businesses there to bike to and from work.

“I think it will make the project much more inviting and make it safer for bicyclists,” Tecimer said.

There will also be two dog parks and a few shaded bench areas where workers can relax.

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Nine office buildings adjacent to the proposed six-story hotel at Hollywood Way and San Fernando Boulevard will include outdoor patios that would connect to the structures’ interiors through roll-up garage doors. The idea is to blur the lines between outdoor leisure and office space that’s said to be popular among millennials.

Tecimer said his company bought the property knowing it couldn’t build housing because of deed restrictions, including an air-navigation easement and soil contamination from decades of aerospace manufacturing on the site where Lockheed was formerly located.

Overton Moore plans to spend $23 million on offsite infrastructure and ongoing maintenance, including improvements to adjacent roadways and bike paths that connect to nearby Metrolink stations. The developer would also pay the costs of maintaining landscaping and two new streets it plans to dedicate to the city.

Mayor Emily Gabel-Luddy said she has been impressed with what she’s seen, so far, from Tecimer and Overton Moore.

“He’s appealing to younger people who require an experience at their work site and not just a desk,” Gabel-Luddy said. “That’s unique and welcome in terms of a developer doing more than new buildings but building a whole new neighborhood.”

The City Council is expected to consider whether to accept the environmental impact report on the project at 6 p.m. on Tuesday.

If the project is approved, Tecimer has said his firm wants to start construction this year, hopefully breaking ground in August.

Daniel Langhorne is a contributor to Times Community News.

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Reporter Anthony Clark Carpio contributed to this story.

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