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VALLEY ROUNDUP | Burbank

Last of Lockheed Meets Wrecking Ball

August 01, 2000|ANDREW BLANKSTEIN

Nearly a decade after Lockheed Martin pulled out of the city of Burbank, crews are demolishing the last vestiges of the sprawling defense facilities that churned out combat aircraft and spy planes for World War II and the Cold War.

The wrecking ball is being put to structures on 32 acres adjacent to the Burbank Airport parking garage, once home to an aircraft factory and Lockheed corporate offices, said Burbank redevelopment director Robert M. Tague.

Los Angeles-based Zelman Cos. has submitted plans for a a 580,000-square-foot industrial park on the site, said Tague.

The A-1 North facility that is being demolished was where subassembly work was done for the P-3 Orion anti-submarine aircraft. It also housed manufacturing for the L-1011 commercial jet built at the site from the 1960s through the early 1980s, said Lockheed Martin spokeswoman Gail Rymer.

Demolition work began three months ago and is to be completed by December, Tague said. The project, erasing the last remnants of Lockheed's presence in Burbank, brings to about 350 the number of acres cleared to make way for new developments in the last decade.

"It's exciting that we're now reaching the final chapter in the cleanup and clearance of all the Lockheed manufacturing sites," Tague said. "Next are the new buildings coming out of the ground that will house new business, more jobs and more revenue for the city."

Lockheed Corp., a precursor of Lockheed Martin, was established in Burbank in 1928. At its peak, it employed nearly 100,000 and manufactured aircraft including the P-38 fighter, the U-2 and SR-71 Blackbird spy planes and the F-117A Stealth fighter.

It also was the original home of the legendary Skunk Works, which designs advanced military planes.

Lockheed began closing its Burbank facility in the late 1980s and moved manufacturing to Palmdale and Marietta, Ga. The company merged with Martin Marietta Corp. in 1995 to become Lockheed Martin.

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