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Bringing down the buildings

Ben Godar

The last remaining structures along the old police block will be

razed later this month, more than a year after their final tenants

moved out.

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The buildings, at the corner of San Fernando Boulevard and

Angeleno Avenue, are being cleared in preparation for construction of

Burbank Village Walk and Burbank Civic Plaza, which will include

retail and office space, along with 140 apartments.

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The strip of abandoned storefronts has remained behind a high

chain-link fence for the past year. Lucky Liquor, the last of the

stores to close, still displays a sign saying “closing Wed. July 10.”

City officials had hoped to demolish the buildings shortly after

they were vacated, but Redevelopment Project Manager Ruth

Davidson-Guerra said they were unable to do so because lead paint and

asbestos had to be removed. That delay meant the Redevelopment Agency

had to go through the demolition bidding process a second time.

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“In a perfect world, we would have preferred these buildings came

down sooner, but we had a lot of uncontrolled variables,”

Davidson-Guerra said.

The new bids for demolition of the buildings will go before the

agency board Tuesday. Davidson-Guerra said she hopes the work will

begin within a couple of days.

While the dust from the demolition might affect his lunch

business, Gordon Biersch General Manager Ricardo Capra said he is

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glad to see the buildings across from the restaurant finally coming

down.

“No matter how you look at it, it doesn’t look pretty right now,”

he said.

The buildings should be demolished by the end of the month, but it

will be some time before the developments become a reality. City

officials will review plans for the Burbank Village Walk in

September, but Joy Forbes, the city’s principal planner, said major

construction isn’t exactly around the corner.

“I assume the groundbreaking will be this year, but [construction]

probably won’t get into full swing until next year,” she said.

Despite the delays, Capra said the end product will be worth the

wait for area businesses.

“In a year and a half or two years, it will increase traffic in

the neighborhood and be beneficial for everyone,” he said.


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