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Construction of Towncenter Pushed Back

August 23, 1986|GREG BRAXTON | Times Staff Writer

The scheduled start of construction on the proposed Burbank Towncenter on Oct. 27 has been postponed at least 60 days while city officials assess the impact of the withdrawal of Robinson's, one of the four anchor department stores, from the city redevelopment project.

Burbank City Manager Bud Ovrom said the other anchor stores--Nordstrom, The Broadway and J. C. Penny--also had to assess Robinson's pullout from the project, an effort to revitalize Burbank's depressed downtown area.

Proposed Merger

May Department Stores, which has proposed merging with the parent company of Robinson's, Associated Dry Goods, announced last week that it would not permit a Robinson's to be built in the mall.

Ovrom said it could take as long as 90 days to reach a decision.

Ovrom made the announcement soon after a Federal Trade Commission task force interviewed Burbank officials and executives of the project's developer, The Hahn Co., in response to the city's complaint against the proposed merger.

The city's attorneys, in Washington, asked the FTC to block the merger, or force Robinson's to live up to what they said was its commitment to locate in Burbank. The complaint charged that the merger would substantially harm competition in Southern California.

"We believe that the Robinson's commitment was withdrawn after years of planning solely due to the desire of May Co. to avoid competition to its nearby outlet in Laurel Plaza" in North Hollywood, the complaint said.

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