It was the second time in two years that Burbank’s Mayor, Jess Talamantes, delivered the State of the City address. Last year as Vice-Mayor, Talamantes filled in for then Mayor Bob Frutos who had taken ill that week.
Now addressing a crowd made up of the top business leaders, Talamantes delivered well in his third time at the podium. He was also the ‘Centennial Mayor’ in 2011 when Burbank turned 100 when he gave his first speech.
Each year, the Burbank Chamber of Commerce sponsors the State of the City, this year moving from the Airport Marriott to the Castaway, quickly selling out the 400 seat plus venue.
This year the theme was about embracing change. Many things are changing in Burbank and not necessarily in more, but in improving. Some of the items mentioned included the recently approved Measure B vote that will allow the airport to rebuild its 14 gate terminal and the improvements to the Burbank Town Center.
Referring to the Burbank Economic Development Annual Report put out by the Community Development Department, Talamantes said there are over 108,000 residents in the city with an average household income of over $87,000. Burbank home prices average $725,000, which is approximately 33 percent above the Los Angeles County average home price of $545,000.
Tourism is also a large industry in Burbank with just over 3.1 million visitors coming to the city, spending an estimated $725 million dollars, generating $31.6 million in local tax revenues.
There is also proposed changes to the development landscape. Besides the new Ikea and the Talaria projects that are in progress and will be completed soon, there are several more developments on the horizon which include:
- The Burbank Town Center Renovation. This already approved renovation will be completed by late 2017.
- The former Ikea site. The City Council will decide in early 2018 on a proposed 15-story building that will feature 70 residential units, three 7-story buildings that will host retail and restaurant spaces as well as 259 apartments and a 200 room hotel as well as an outdoor plaza.
- A new development at 103 E. Verdugo that may feature 154 residential units with a hotel or office option which will go in front of the council in mid 2017.
- The Avion Burbank, which will be located across from the new terminal being built at the airport and will feature six 2-story industrial/warehouse buildings, nine 2-story creative office buildings, two 1-stort restaurants and a 150 room hotel on the 61.5 acre area.
- First Street Village, located at Magnolia and First, will be considered by the Council early in 2017 and will have three 5-story buildings for 283 apartments and includes amenities such as a dog park.
- A new, mixed unit project on the 100 block of Screenland that will be 13-stories high holding 40 apartments. The Planning Board will take this up next month in December.
- There are also new proposed airport hotels that are in discussion at 2500 Hollywood Way that would be 8-stories and in phase 2, one of thye options includes a 9-story hotel.
- Another long range development is the AC Hotel at 550 N. Third St. that will be a 6-story hotel with 198 rooms.
So yes, change is in the air and with more hotels and retail space proposed as well as new residential housing, the tax base will continue to improve for the city and the residents.