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Proposed terminal’s impact on real estate market is up in the air

Paul Clinton

AIRPORT DISTRICT -- As Burbank Airport and its host city hammer out

the details of the development agreement for a replacement airline

terminal, those in the real estate industry are grappling with the future

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impact on home values.

With approval of the proposed terminal still uncertain -- the City

Council isn’t set to vote on the project until April -- many questions

remain unanswered.

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How many more flights the 14-gate facility will handle, how much more

jet noise will ripple through city neighborhoods and the amount of

increased traffic on city streets are still unknown.

“There’s no way it’s not going to affect property values,” veteran

mortgage banker Peggy Nudo said about the new terminal. “It’s going to

affect it negatively. But we don’t know how much.”

City and airport officials have acknowledged the likelihood of an

increase in the number of flights. Although the new terminal would have

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the same number of gates as the current facility, its 330,000 square foot

building is almost twice as large.

Burbank Realtors said they have heard concerns about airport expansion

from prospective home buyers, especially those considering property

directly under the flight path. Still home prices have been going up --

as they have elsewhere in the region -- in the six months since the

airport deal was reached.

Wayne Schulze, of Century 21 Paul and Associates, said he hasn’t had

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any trouble selling homes.

“It’s not an issue,” Schulze said. “The expansion of the airport has

not been affecting the salability of houses.”

Realtors divide Burbank into two sectors -- Area 10 and Area 11 -- on

either side of the Golden State (5) Freeway. Area 10 encompasses the

neighborhoods south and west of the freeway, including homes most

affected by airport noise.

Home sales in Area 10 have been strong, Schulze said. Through October,

882 homes were sold in Burbank this year, with 451 of those in Area 10.

The average sale price was $227,500. The more desirable Area 11 averaged

$274,300, Schulze said.

But Nudo, who works for a Los Angeles mortgage banker, said she was

skeptical of Schulze’s rosy view. She said home sales in Burbank’s

Airport District are down 7.1% over last year.

However, with the city’s economy stronger than ever, demand to live in

Burbank continues to increase, Realtor Barry Burnett said.

“It has been my experience that the people that are buying are happy

to live in the homes in that area,” Burnett said. “They are happier to

live near an airport in (Burbank) city limits, than anywhere in Los

Angeles.”

Burnett, who owns Burbank-based Barry Burnett Realty, said homes in

the city -- even those directly under the flight path -- have been

selling for between $38,000 and $50,000 more than comparable properties

in North Hollywood and other areas outside the city.

Realtors are legally required to inform potential buyers about the

airport in a disclosure form. But they are not required to mention the

proposed terminal project.

Some mention it, others don’t.

Burnett said he does.

“We’re identifying it because the lawsuits won’t wait,” Burnett said.

“We’re being extra cautious to inform people over and above.”


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