‘Burbank Common’ project aims to create gathering space in downtown Burbank
The owner of Tony’s Darts Away and Mohawk Bend is partnering with Burbank to create a new public amenity in the downtown area where residents and visitors can spend their evenings and weekends.
The Burbank Community Development Department hosted a community workshop in the Community Services Building on Monday and presented the proposed Burbank Common project, a public-private partnership between the city and developer West Magnolia, LLC, with plans to redevelop a 2.4-acre site at 10 W. Magnolia Blvd.
The proposed project would involve demolishing the existing 70,000-square-foot former AmeriCold cold storage warehouse and replace it with 33,000 square feet of event space, a roller rink, 19,000 square feet of restaurant, craft beer pub, café and special-event space and about 47,000 square feet of outdoor space where the public can congregate and eat.
The site is located next to the Metrolink downtown Burbank station and behind Burbank Water and Power. Ross Young, a project manager for Burbank, said the project would use the 471 parking spaces currently located around the train station, of which 240 spaces will be adjacent to the site.
Young said Metrolink users use about 65% of the spaces during weekdays.
“We know that the greatest demand for this project will be on evenings and weekends, so we think those opposing peak-period demands will accommodate both uses with the implementation of managed parking,” he said.”
Young said the city, with help from its former Redevelopment Agency, bought the warehouse in 2003 to allow Burbank Water and Power to use the site to finish constructing a portion of its facility, and to use the site as a transit-oriented development.
Burbank tried to demolish the site in 2008 but did not generate enough support from the City Council because of high demolition costs.
After dealing with the dismantling of the Redevelopment Agency, Young said the city owns the property outright and will be working with West Magnolia to redevelop the site.
The man behind West Magnolia is Tony Yanow, owner of Tony’s Darts Away in Magnolia Park and the brewpub Mohawk Bend in Echo Park. Yanow was also one of the original founders of Golden Road Brewing, one of the largest craft-beer breweries in Los Angeles.
“One of the reasons why we reached out to Tony and his team is the experiences that we’ve seen him create in the spaces they’ve gone into,” said Daniel Villa, an associate planner for Burbank.
Villa added that the property will be owned by the city, but will be operated by Yanow and his restaurant group, the Artisanal Brewers Collective.
Tony’s Darts Away used to be an unassuming dive bar in Magnolia Park, but Yanow bought the business almost nine years ago and converted it into a popular brewpub that specializes in craft beer and vegan food. That’s also the case with Mohawk Bend, which was once a Vaudeville theater but is now a thriving restaurant with a focus on craft beer.
Yanow formed the Artisanal Brewers Collective after selling Golden Road to Anheuser-Busch InBev in 2015 and has since been adding more establishments to his brewpub portfolio.
Some of his latest projects include the Stalking Horse Brewery and Freehouse in Los Angeles, Brennan’s in Marina Del Rey and a new beer-focused eatery in downtown San Diego, Yanow said.
Paige Reilly, a co-founder of the Artisanal Brewers Collective, said Burbank Common’s goal is to offer a family-friendly space where craft beer fans can bring their families and socialize with others who have similar interests.
“There are some great production breweries that have some great small taprooms, but [they’re] literally... concrete jungle[s] with metal seats and a food truck outside,” Reilly said. “You’re not able to have a true comfortable experience where you can bring your families and sit for a longer period of time and have genuine conversations with other people that have that same passion [for craft beer].”
Though the restaurant and brewpub are the main features of the Burbank Common project, Yanow and his team said that the proposed event space will address another issue that Burbank has had — a lack of space for corporate events.
Cary Berger, a member of the Artisanal Brewers Collective, said the proposed roughly 25,000-sqaure-foot event space on the west side of the site would be ideal for business conferences, expos, trade shows and conventions.
Also, Yanow said that adding a roller derby rink can offer a more permanent and cleaner venue for girls and women who enjoy that activity.
“It’s a great sport that empowers women, but it’s generally happening in dark parts of a city,” Yanow said.
Young said the project is currently undergoing its environmental analysis and community outreach phase. He expects the project will go before the Planning Board and the City Council by late summer.