Planning board to review IKEA expansion project in Burbank

Swedish furniture giant IKEA may get one step closer next week to building its largest store in the United States as its proposed expansion project is slated to come before the Burbank Planning Board on Monday.

The retailer announced a little more than a year ago that it had outgrown its current digs at the Burbank Town Center and hoped to relocate a few blocks away — to a nearly 23-acre lot at 805 S. San Fernando Blvd. — by 2016.

At 470,000 square feet, the proposed store would be nearly double the size of its current location, and will include a 12,000-square-foot restaurant and a smaller bistro serving items such as prepackaged food, hot dogs and pizza, along with a supervised children’s play area, according to city reports.

The two-story retail building will also have an underground parking lot with 1,726 parking spaces and 86 bicycle parking spaces.

According to city reports, the retailer, which opened in Burbank in 1990, is a strong sales tax revenue generator for the city, and for the last nine years, has helped Burbank maintain its rank in the top 10 Los Angeles County cities for total taxable sales.

If the project is approved by the board on Monday and the Burbank City Council gives it the green light next month, construction is expected to kick off this year, according to city reports. Work will include six months of demolishing 22 existing structures — currently being used for office, manufacturing, industrial, warehouse and residential purposes — and another roughly two years of building the new store.

The new site is scheduled to open in August 2016, reports state.

The store’s anticipated hours are 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily. Five to seven delivery trucks are projected to access the site daily, with the main ones arriving during off hours.

The store will likely have about 240 employees working on-site per shift, and between 360 and 380 employees total, city records show.

Community organizations and residents have expressed concerns about parking, traffic and pedestrian and bicyclist safety.

With the new store, traffic in the area — especially on the weekends — is expected to increase.

Currently, the existing structures generate 2,140 trips on a typical weekday and 648 trips on a typical weekend day. When the IKEA opens, officials expect 2,382 more trips each week day, and 6,798 more trips on a typical weekend day, according to city reports.

City officials say the increase will impact two of the 38 intersections in the area that were studied, and have identified street improvements to reduce traffic congestion. 

The Planning Board meeting will take place at 6 p.m. Monday at City Hall, 275 E. Olive Ave. The project is tentatively slated to come before Burbank City Council on Feb. 25, city officials said.


Follow Alene Tchekmedyian on Google+ and on Twitter: @atchek.


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