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Mall to receive makeover

Jackson Bell

Hoping to breathe new life into the Media City Center, the mall’s new

owner is planning to renovate the building’s Magnolia Boulevard

facade to make way for two new restaurants, including P.F. Chang’s

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China Bistro.

Crown Realty, the Irvine-based developer that purchased the mall

in March for $10 million from Pan Pacific Retail Properties Inc., has

hired a Dallas-based architecture firm to reconfigure the main

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entrance of the 1.2-million-square-foot mall. Construction on the

first-phase of the project, which is expected to cost $7 million,

will begin in October with completion scheduled for May.

In May, the City Council approved a valet parking lane in front of

the mall’s Magnolia Boulevard entrance in anticipation of P.F Chang’s

signing a lease with the mall.

Sue Georgino, the city’s community development director, said the

renovation is badly needed because the 12-year-old mall is not

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inviting to potential shoppers coming from the nearby AMC Burbank 16

and San Fernando Boulevard.

“Our hope is that this will be a springboard to an almost total

repositioning of the mall,” Georgino said. “We want to see the first

floor reinvigorated with new retailers.”

Neither Crown Realty President Robert Flaxman nor Senior Vice

President Jim O’Neil returned phone calls seeking comment for this

story.

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But in a press release issued Wednesday, the company said the

first phase of its repositioning plan would include construction of a

7,000-square-foot space for P.F. Chang’s on the second level of the

mall, along with a second restaurant.

Plans for a second phase are expected to be announced later this

year.

“Our overall renovation program will focus on raising the

visibility of the property in downtown Burbank, creating a more

pedestrian-friendly traffic flow, upgrading interior common spaces

and enhancing the interior aesthetics of the property,” O’Neill

stated in the release.

Georgino said the mall hopes to attract about 10 high-profile

chain retailers, including Hot Topic and Rave, by the end of the

year. She added that the mall’s new theme, “Come Home to Burbank,”

signifies its effort to regain local spenders from shopping centers

outside of the city.

Georgino also said that about 80% of downtown property owners

agreed to contribute more than $4 million during the next five years

to pay for such improvements as parking, street signs and promotions.

Macy’s, Sears, Mervyn’s and Sports Chalet anchor Media City

Center.


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