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Burbank Rejects $115-Million Development

May 03, 2003|Joy L. Woodson | Times Staff Writer

Burbank officials have rejected a plan to build a $115-million development in the city's Media District that would have included two 12-story towers, concluding that the project was too big and would have caused too much traffic.

The site, bounded by West Alameda Avenue, West Olive Avenue and North Lima Street, was proposed more than two years ago by Platt Development Co.

The developer proposed a total of five buildings designed in a bold architectural style using glass, aluminum and other reflective materials. The site, located near the NBC and Warner Bros. studios, would have included a church and residential units as well as offices.

But the project was criticized by residents and city officials, who thought it was too dense. Some also thought that the unusual design would not have fit in with the surrounding area.

"The ... problem is, this is a futuristic glass-and-steel [complex] that looks like something out of Tokyo," said Mayor David Laurell. "It doesn't belong here."

In response to the concerns, the developer scaled back the height of the towers, first from 18 stories to 15, and then to 12.

On April 22, the Burbank City Council voted 5 to 0 to reject the plan.

Developer Rick Platt could not be reached for comment.

The 3.8-acre site consists of vacant land as well as some businesses, including Dimples restaurant.

Laurell said he believes the site needs to be developed, but said the proposal was a little outlandish.

"I do believe something needs to go there -- it's blighted," he said.

Laurell said any development will have to take into account heavy rush-hour traffic on nearby Barham and Cahuenga boulevards.

Platt "should go back to the drawing board and scale down the project," he said.

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