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Thursday, Sep 21, 2023

OFFICES–Developer Eyes Burbank as Site For Hotel, Offices

A Santa Monica-based developer has quietly approached Burbank with plans to build a multi-story office complex and a four-star hotel in the city’s Media District. But with a major office project set for development nearby and a half-dozen other hotels on the drawing board, the proposal by Platt Cos. raises the question: Will the market be there when the project is ready to be built, possibly in two to three years if planning goes swiftly? “The office market in Burbank is very strong,” said Paul Stockwell, managing director of Julien J. Studley Inc. “The difficulty in the commercial development of big office projects is managing the time frame. The market can be terrific today, but in two years, who knows?” At the end of the first quarter, Burbank’s office vacancy rate stood at 5.9 percent up slightly from the 3.3 percent rate at the end of 1999 but still well ahead of the 8.3 percent rate during the first period of that year. Platt is reportedly well along in its effort to assemble four acres owned by 11 parties in an area of the Media District bounded by Alameda and Olive avenues and the 134 Freeway. Rick Platt, a principal with the firm, believes it’s too soon to release details of the project but said his group plans to build several thousand square feet of office space, with retail uses on the bottom floor, along with a four-star hotel aimed at visiting entertainment executives and other high-end customers. “We have a lot of belief in the city of Burbank and the market for office, hospitality and retail,” he said. “Demand in the city is indicative of entertainment. Burbank is kind of the Silicon Valley of the entertainment industry.” Burbank City Manager Bud Ovrom said Platt officials told the city they’re looking to build an office complex of about 14 stories in addition to a 500-room, high-end hotel. Both uses would be permitted in the Media District, but part of the project would be adjacent to residential areas, which always raises the potential of neighborhood opposition. Ovrom noted that M. David Paul and Associates is already developing 585,000 square feet of office space as part of a nearby project known as Media Center Gardens. Paul has entitlements in place for the project and is in a position to begin building soon. The city manager said the activity reflects the strength of the Burbank office market. And the fact that Paul is building the new project on speculation would indicate the veteran office developer agrees.

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