City officials, business leaders and a handful of residents on Tuesday celebrated the grand opening of the first high-end rental home complex in Burbank in 25 years.
Empire Landing officially opened with more than 40% of the 276 units already leased.
Representatives for the complex said they hope to attract a variety of residents, including people who already live in Burbank and those who are looking for resort living, or who no longer wish to commute — even temporary studio workers who might not stay long, said Barbara Casey, a spokeswoman for the developer, Casden Properties.
Empire Landing includes 28 affordable units, according to the property's development plan with the city, officials said.
The 7-acre development was approved in January 2006 as a mixed-use project. The City Council approved the final plans two years later after mandating landscaping enhancements for the project.
Empire Landing is within walking distance of the Bob Hope Airport Metrolink station, as well as Gross Park.
The last rental home community in Burbank was also built by Casden Properties in 1985. The Promenade, now known as Avalon Burbank, has 400 units and is located on the 300 block of South San Fernando Boulevard.
"From an investment standpoint, it's something the area desperately needed," said Chris Habitz, president of the Burbank Assn. of Realtors.
At the ribbon-cutting ceremony, Alan Casden, chief executive of Casden Properties, said there was a shortage of premium housing in an area primed for growth.
"When the economy recovers and the office spaces start to fill up, there will be a surge in demand for apartments," Habitz said. "People will want to live and work nearby."
The mixed-use project also includes retail spaces that are yet to be leased. The spaces add to the 1.07 million square feet of unused moderate and premium office space in the city, according to figures released by Grubb & Ellis in August.
"[Empire Landing] is a first-class development in all aspects, from architectural design to the quality of the units and amenities," said Gary Olson, president of the Burbank Chamber of Commerce. "We look forward to the multi-use aspect of the facility being realized."