Home furnishings retailer Ikea has moved one step closer to opening a new Burbank outlet that will be the largest for the chain in the United States.
The Burbank Planning Board voted unanimously Monday evening to recommend that the City Council approve the project. The Council will likely meet next month to consider a final go-ahead.
Ikea, owned by Ingka Holding of the Netherlands, wants to build a 470,000-square-foot store at 805 S. San Fernando Blvd., less than a mile south of the existing Ikea north of the Burbank Town Center mall. The retailer announced the plans more than a year ago, stating that it had outgrown its current 242,000-square-foot store.
It hopes to open the outlet by 2016 but needs to demolish more than 20 structures on the land, including office, industrial and residential buildings.
Community Development Director Joy Forbes said board vote was a positive step but cautioned that the Council is not a rubber stamp.
“They will review the facts for themselves, ask a lot of serious questions and then make their decision,” Forbes said.
The only significant change to the proposal was a decision by the Board not to approve Ikea’s plans to build a 108-foot sign on the northwest corner of the property along the Golden State (5) Freeway.
“The Board believed the sign was too tall and inappropriate for the project,” said Deputy City Planner Patrick Prescotthe in an email. “They believed that the building itself and the proposed signs on the building would be adequate.”
The store would feature a 12,000 square foot restaurant, a 1,000 square foot bistro that will serve prepackaged food, hot dogs and pizza, and a children’s play area. The project also includes more than 1,700 parking spaces located on two levels and encompasses about 23 acres. The city expects it will bring in nearly 400 jobs.
As for the current site, Crown Realty and Development Inc. of Irvine, the owner of the Burbank Town Center mall, has agreed to buy the store and property. City officials have said they would like to see the firm renovate the open up the mall as part of an expansion onto the Ikea site.