In an effort to revamp Burbank’s downtown business district, the City
Council on Tuesday appointed 11 members to the newly formed downtown
property-based business improvement district board.
The board will represent large- and small-property owners, the
Village district, Media City Center, IKEA, small-business owners,
residents and nonprofit organizations downtown. The members will be
responsible for deciding on things like promoting the area and
upgrades to the district.
A business improvement district is an area of mer- chants or
property owners who form an organization of interests to assess
themselves to pay for programs that better the district.
District boundaries include Glenoaks Boulevard to the east,
Verdugo Avenue to the south, the Golden State (5) Freeway to the west
and Burbank Boulevard to the north.
Appointees Anthony Delcau, of Tucker Investment, and Morris
Goodstein, formerly of Tony Roma’s, will represent property owners
from the Village area along San Fernando Boulevard, from Magnolia
Boulevard to Verdugo Avenue. City Manager Mary Alvord and Community
Development Director Sue Georgino will represent the city’s interest.
Ken Bodeen, the new manager of IKEA, will represent the furniture
store. James O’Neil will represent the Media City Center.
Raymond Adams of Buyers Home Warranty will represent
small-property owners. Michael Cusumano of Cusumano Real Estate Group
will represent large-property owners. Paul Ehre of Skyblupink will
represent small businesses. Michael Wilford, of the accounting firm
King, King Alleman & Jensen, will represent residents of Burbank.
Lisa Rawlins, president of the YMCA, will represent nonprofits.
Rawlins and Wilford have non-voting seats.
“It gives a voice for property owners that they didn’t really have
before,” said Jack Lynch, senior project manager for the Burbank
The impetus for the district came from Redevelopment Agency
efforts to improve the downtown area. In July, the council voted
unanimously to establish a property-based district after 82% of
property owners who cast ballots voted in favor of assessing
themselves to fund improvements for the area.
Funds would go toward capital improvements, maintenance, security
and promotions that the city cannot provide. A total of 133 property
owners are within the district boundaries. Yearly fees will range
from $254 for the smallest lots to $217,000 for the largest ones.
The district will replace its merchant-based predecessor, which
was not successful because of lower assessments and high turnover
that ren- dered it incapable of forcing improvements, Lynch said.
Burbank business officials said a property-based district is a
step in improving the local business climate.
“I think everybody, whether from a big or small business, has the
best interest of downtown at heart,” said Susan Bowers, executive
director of the Burbank Chamber of Commerce.