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Media Studios project receives time extension

Media Studios project receives time extension
On this photoshop composite made from three separate images is the area that Media Studios plans to use for a new building, known as Phase VI, on their campus on Thornton Avenue in Burbank on Jan. 9. (Raul Roa / Burbank Leader)

Media Center North Development will have a decade to finish its Media Studios project near the Hollywood Burbank Airport.

Members of the Burbank City Council voted 4-0 during a meeting on Tuesday to approve a final environmental report for a proposed 160,447-square-foot, five-story office building on a site located at 3100 Thornton Ave.

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They also OK’d extending the applicant’s development agreement by 10 years to complete the overall project.

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Mayor Emily Gabel-Luddy was absent from the meeting.

Council members held a special meeting on Jan. 9 on the Media Studios campus to tour the various buildings and amenities currently offered at the site, and many of them were impressed with what the location had to offer businesses and their employees.

They also got an up-close glimpse of where the proposed sixth office building would be located and how it would fit in with the other facilities on the campus.

Leo Divinsky, asset manager for Worthe Real Estate Group, which manages the properties at Media Studios, said everyone employed on that campus has access to a gym, two cafes, a beach volleyball court, life-size chess board and nine-hole putting green.

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He also listed the businesses based at the site, such as NBCUniversal, Kaiser Permanente, Insomniac Games, Deluxe Entertainment, TiVo, Technicolor, 20th Century Fox, Hasbro and Disney Television Animation.

“A member of our marketing team, at one point, dubbed the campus ‘an oasis of creativity,’” Divinsky said.

“As you can tell, there are a number of significant factors that make the campus special and truly unique within the Burbank office market,” he added.

Officials with Media Center North Development requested the additional time not only to give themselves adequate time to apply for construction permits to build the office building, but also to allow Divinsky and his colleagues time to fill vacancies left by the departure of Yahoo Inc. from the site.

Yahoo shuttered its Burbank offices, which equated to two five-story buildings at Media Studios, in 2016 and Worthe Real Estate Group has been trying to find new tenants.

Councilman Tim Murphy said he was initially hesitant to support the development agreement extension by 10 years, which he initially thought was too long. However, he said his tune changed after seeing the campus in person.

“This project is like [Divinsky’s] child. He just beams with pride,” Murphy said. “I would like to work there — it’s just to die for… I’m dying to see what goes in building number six.”

Along with the time extension, Media Center North Development agreed to make or pay for several improvements around Media Studios.

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They agreed to help pay for the operation and maintenance costs of the North Metrolink station at the north end of Hollywood Burbank Airport, as well as fund a possible BurbankBus route to serve the campus.

Additionally, Media Center North Development would build or pay for construction of a bicycle lane on the northbound lane of Hollywood Way between Avon Street and Thornton Avenue.

Sidewalk improvements around the entire campus are also proposed as part of the project.

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