Burbank Redevelopment Agency Honored


Once a neglected multi-family neighborhood with high gang and drug activity and a disconnection from key city programs, the Peyton-Grismer Neighborhood Revitalization effort in Burbank has now created a healthy, safe, and vibrant community. This month, the California Redevelopment Association is recognizing these efforts with its prestigious Award of Excellence.

The 2.4-acre project site rehabilitated 11 buildings comprised of approximately 100 substandard and over-crowded housing units.  Over 70 percent of the residents in this neighborhood are considered “low income.”  The approach to revitalize the site and ultimately the neighborhood was to acquire and rehabilitate the properties in partnership with the Burbank Housing Corporation, the Agency’s non-profit affordable housing partner for the last 12 years, who would operate the site as a mixed-income affordable housing community.  Important to the site’s revitalization was the construction of an Activity and Family Resource Center, which provides learning opportunities to the residents.  The Agency also created Connect with your Community—a multifaceted outreach program that builds community pride by fostering partnerships, engaging residents, and inspiring leadership through action.

A goal of the revitalization was to minimize the displacement of existing residents during the rehabilitation process in order to provide neighborhood continuity and stability.  To carry out this goal, resident relocations were completed in phases.  The phased approach minimized displacement of households, which helped maintain neighborhood stability.

In five years, the once-isolated Peyton-Grismer community now enjoys safe and newly rehabilitated housing and a diverse mix of families of different incomes and sizes as some of the units were enlarged to accommodate larger families.  Another key benefit of the improved surroundings is a steady decline in crime and enhanced circulation on site with additional on-site parking to alleviate vehicle parking congestion on City streets.  More importantly this neighborhood revitalization effort has lived up to such elusive but real values as strengthening trust among residents, promoting a sense of ownership, and inspiring lifelong learning.

The Peyton-Grismer Revitalization effort is just one example of the Burbank Redevelopment Agency’s track record of providing critically needed affordable housing for Burbank’s most challenged families.  Since 1976, the Burbank Redevelopment Agency has invested over $93 million to create over 1,600 affordable homes, including 285 units built in conjunction with the Burbank Housing Corporation, four activity centers, two childcare centers, transitional housing for at-risk populations, senior housing developments and mixed-use developments in Downtown Burbank.

Representatives from Burbank will receive their AWARD OF EXCELLENCE from the California Redevelopment Association (CRA) at the 2011 CRA Annual Conference and Expo in San Jose on March 30.  The ceremony will be held from 11:30 a.m.to 2:00 p.m. in Ballroom A at the San Jose Convention Center (150 West San Carlos Street, San Jose, CA).

Contact Maribel Leyland, Deputy Housing and Redevelopment Manager for the Burbank Redevelopment Agency, (818) 238-5158 for further information on Peyton-Grismer Revitalization Project or the other affordable housing efforts in the community.

Please contact Willa Davis of CRA at (916) 448-8760 or wdavis@calredevelop.org for a press pass if you would like to attend the ceremony.

The California Redevelopment Association (CRA) represents redevelopment agencies and allied firms throughout the state of California in responding to legislative proposals and administrative regulations, providing member services, conducting training and professional development events, and providing public information regarding redevelopment law and activities.  CRA is a statewide, nonprofit corporation comprised of over 363 redevelopment agencies and over 270 private sector firms.

About the CRA Award of Excellence

Each year the California Redevelopment Association gives Awards of Excellence to recognize redevelopment projects from around the state that have significantly benefited their communities.  This is the thirteenth year CRA has honored the hard work and dedication of the professionals working in the redevelopment field.

Award nominees are evaluated based on their efforts to improve physical conditions in their communities; the extent of community participation in and benefit from the project; the economic viability and fiscal stability of the project; and unique, effective project design solutions. Each project is further evaluated based on criteria specific to the eight award categories: Commercial/Industrial Development; Community Revitalization; Education, Marketing & Publications; Mixed-Use Development; Residential Development (new construction); Residential Development (rehabilitation); Public Spaces & Linkages; Special Citation; and Sustainable Development.

Over 400 individuals will attend the awards ceremony. CRA Executive Director John Shirey will be the Master of Ceremonies for this year’s event. CRA President Linda Barton, City Manager from the City of Livermore, will help present the Awards of Excellence.

The 2011 CRA Award of Excellence winners are as follows:

Redevelopment AgencyProjectCategory
Victorville Redevelopment AgencyDr. Pepper Snapple Group & Industrial Wastewater FacilityCommercial/Industrial Development
National City Community Development CommissionMarina Gateway Community Revitalization ProjectCommunity Revitalization
Santa Cruz County Redevelopment AgencyBuild a Stronger Soquel and Live OakEducation, Marketing & Publications
Huntington Beach Redevelopment AgencyThe StrandMixed-Use Development
Oakland Redevelopment AgencyUptown Residential Area Development – Phase I & IIResidential Development­ –   New Construction
Burbank Redevelopment AgencyPeyton-Grismer Revitalization ProjectResidential Development­ –   Rehabilitation
Bakersfield Redevelopment AgencyMill Creek Linear ParkPublic Spaces & Linkages
Lafayette Redevelopment AgencyLafayette Library and Learning CenterSpecial Citation
Contra Costa County Redevelopment AgencyContra Costa Centre Transit VillageSustainable Development