Bob Hope Airport reduces amount of planned development on ‘Opportunity Site’

The amount of commercial and industrial development slated for a 58-acre parcel held in trust for the Bob Hope Airport will be substantilly reduced from up to 3 million square feet to about 2.3 million square feet, airfield officials decided Monday.

Members of the Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority voted for the reduction as part of a Development Application Package to the city of Burbank.

Potential uses for the parcel, known as the “Opportunity Site,” could include several types of office space, flex/industrial, retail and hotel. The site, which the airport paid for in 1999, is located on Hollywood Way, just north of the airfield.

The reduction would provide more flex/industrial space, but shrink Class A office space.

Money from the sale of the Opportunity Site would help pay for a new terminal, which would also receive Federal Aviation Administration funding and Congressional support, airport officials said. The development package also includes plans for the new terminal, which is more than 80 years old.

During a joint meeting of the Airport Authority and the Burbank City Council last month, the larger amount of development was approved in a 3-2 vote by the council and a unanimous vote by airport officials.

Submission of the application package is required for the city to issue a notice to prepare for an environmental impact report planned for later this month.

Susan Georgino, president of the Airport Authority, said the new development concept strikes the “best possible balance” of new businesses and jobs for the city without overwhelming its infrastructure.

“We heard — and responded to — public comments that the proposed development concept was too large, and we wanted to address that issue,” Georgino said in a statement.

Also, the new plan reduces the development period from 15 years to 10.

“The lower density of development reflects a more desirable and practical shorter 10-year time period over which to plan the site build-out,” Georgino said.

Airport officials say a new terminal is necessary to meet both current earthquake safety standards and FAA guidelines for distance between the terminal and its runways.

The new terminal would have 14 gates, the same number as the existing building, according to plans. The number of parking spaces at the airport would not change, staying at 6,631.

The replacement terminal would be about 355,000 square feet, about 145,000 square feet larger than the existing terminal building. The extra space will provide amenities such as spacious hallways, gate and luggage areas and restrooms as well as enhanced security facilities, according to airport officials.


Follow Mark Kellam on Twitter: @LAMarkKellam.


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