While the Platt Companies keeps downsizing plans for its four-acre
Burbank Media Center, the City Council wants further reductions
before green-lighting the project.
“I am not comfortable, and will not support, a project that has a
12-story or 15-story component,” Councilman Jef Vander Borght said at
this week’s council meeting, which ended at 1 a.m. Wednesday.
Council members agreed that although the project has gone from 25
stories to 18, to 15, and now to 12, the developer is going to have
to take more off the top of the $200-million center.
Platt’s plans include media office space, apartments, a health
club, retail and restaurant space, a church with a child-care
facility for 144 children, and about 2,000 underground parking
spaces in five buildings.
It would be on a triangle- shaped lot near the Ventura (134)
Freeway, abutting Alameda Street, Lima Street and Olive Avenue.
The council probably will deny the project at its meeting Tuesday,
Mayor David Laurell said. The review was postponed this week so
members could have more information on an environmental-impact study.
They wanted to vote on the study and the project on the same night,
“I still am in favor of Platt doing this project ... if the
developer is willing to take the comments that he got from residents
and the council and make this something that the neighborhood, the
community and the council can be excited about,” Laurell said.
Council members’ comments at this week’s meeting did not leave
developer Rick Platt believing the project would be denied when the
discussion resumes, he said.
“We don’t have any expectations about what is going to happen on
Tuesday night,” Platt said.
Some of the 50 residents who spoke for and against the project
said they would accept a five-story project, but were unhappy with
the prospect of added traffic coming to an already congested area.
But Platt said by building housing near where people work,
residents will not “get in their cars and plug up the streets.”
It is too early to be specific about how the project would be
modified if it is rejected, but the company will continue to pursue
the city’s approval, Platt spokesman Mark Wittenberg said.
“We need to consider an additional reduction in height,”
Wittenberg said. “We’re coming back as soon as possible with a
project that addresses their concerns.”
The company started planning the center three years ago, and is
focused on building in Burbank’s Media District, where the demand for
office space is “extremely strong,” Platt said.
“The average vacancy factor in Los Angeles is about 18%, but the
Media District itself has a single-digit vacancy factor for office
space,” Platt said. “We try to look at this from the city’s
perspective ... does the city really want to lose tenants to the