The Burbank City Council voted 4-1 to approve the Talaria at Burbank mixed-used development in the Media District Tuesday night, following two weeks of lengthy meetings on the project.
Mayor David Gordon was the only councilman to vote against the $150 million development by Cusumano Real Estate Group, which would feature 241 upscale apartments and a ground-floor Whole Foods grocery near Burbank Studios.
The 3.8-acre property is occupied by several small multifamily buildings, offices, a church and the Dimples karaoke bar. All the tenants are on short-term leases with Cusumano, and the buildings will be demolished.
Gordon was most against the project because it would force the apartment tenants to move and he said the parking was insufficient, causing a likely spillover into adjacent neighborhoods. The project has 760 parking spaces, with 461 secured for residential.
“That is unacceptable and it sets a very bad precedent,” Gordon said at the meeting Tuesday night. “There are a number of people presently living on the site that are going to be displaced. If you believe a number of them, they’re going to be homeless individuals because they don’t have other options.”
Councilman Gary Bric disagreed, defending the proposal, despite the developer’s targeting of higher-income tenants.
“The last thing I want to do is nickel and dime a project. They could have gone even higher, but they’re not,” he said Tuesday night.
At a Council meeting last week, more than 50 residents spoke for and against the project, with the opposition mostly concerned that the 3401 W. Olive Ave. development will cause more cut-through traffic in the residential neighborhood north of the site.
The four-story Talaria would feature 84 one-bedroom, 123 two-bedroom and 33 three-bedroom units. Amenities include two courtyards, a lap pool, outdoor barbecue area, private lounge, fitness center, laundry and dry-cleaning pickup service, on-site ATM and free high-speed Internet in some common areas.
Michael Cusumano, managing partner of the family-owned development firm, told the Business Journal Wednesday that he was never really worried the city wouldn’t approve the project.
“It’s very rewarding to see the councilmember’s see what we’re trying to do with the project. It’s a significant milestone,” he said.