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Sunday, Jun 4, 2023

Latest Burbank Hotel Clicks With City’s Roots

The Grandview Suites hotel will bring a concrete version of the entertainment industry to the area south of downtown in Burbank. The proposed 170-room hotel has as architectural design that will be a tip of the hat to the city’s media roots. Grandview, which is being developed by R.D. Olson Construction of Irvine, will be located on San Fernando Road between Santa Anita and Providencia avenues. Abo Velasco, associate planner for the city, said the building is meant to represent an antique-style film camera. “It’s going to have an interesting architectural design, an appearance of a camera and film,” he said. “The building will appear to be smaller in the front and get larger as you go out southwards, like an accordion.” Velasco said the owner expects construction to begin early next year and an opening in 2015. Although some Burbank citizens have raised concerns about the proximity of the Grandview to the Hilton Garden Inn, which is a block away and set to break ground in December, Velasco said zoning code allows for the location of both hotels. Hospitality consultant Bruce Baltin, senior vice president of PKF Consulting USA in Los Angeles, said hotels that are close to each other boost economic development for the city. “Los Angeles County as a whole is over-occupied and undersupplied by hotels,” he said. “A good hotel in a good location can do reasonably well.” He added that Grandview’s proximity to other Burbank hotels will help both the hotels and nearby retail and restaurant businesses. Baltin said citizens shouldn’t be worried about the traffic impact because congestion from hotels usually occurs at a different time of day than regular traffic. BLVD Lancaster The BLVD, redevelopment project in Lancaster, is promoting its mom-and-pop shops, restaurants and boutiques with a new business improvement district. Olives Mediterranean Café is the newest kid on the block, owned by husband and wife Harry and Lusine Mkrtchian. Lusine Mkrtchian said not only has Lancaster made it easy to open their business, but the location was very attractive. “The BLVD is a great growth opportunity,” she said. “We have a lot of offices near us that are very supportive, so the location is very good for our business.” The city invested $10.5 million on Lancaster Boulevard in 2010 to add parking, landscaping, sidewalks, curbs, gutters, decorative street lights, an audio system and street furniture. After that renovation, the BLVD initiated an aggressive economic development campaign. The city initiated a property-based improvement district in July of this year. Chenin Dow, management analyst for the City of Lancaster, said a majority of business owners supported the measure. “Over 73 percent of property owners were in favor of the self-assessment. They voted to add on to property taxes, which would go to fund promotions, advertising, marketing, maintenance and security,” she said. She called all of the businesses on the BLVD mom-and-pop shops, which have been aided with business grants such as the commercial property improvement program in 2011. The façade grant program allowed eligible businesses to receive up to $40,000 in a matching grant to make improvements on their storefronts. Pizza Inferno Blaze Pizza LLC, the Pasadena-based fast casual pizza chain, will be opening its first Valley franchise location at the La Cañada-Flintridge Town Center. The menu will be the same as the rest of Blaze’s current fare, including craft beer and wine. Sheela Patel, franchise partner for Sajha LLC, the company that will be franchising the La Cañada location, said the Town Center seemed like a good fit for the company. “We feel the Town Center plaza has good food and people energy,” she said. “La Cañada is a small community with not a lot of places to eat.” Blaze Pizza uses an assembly-line format that lets eaters customize their pie, choosing from a wide selection of toppings, most at no extra charge. Each 11-inch pizza is then cooked in a high-temperature oven and ready to eat in about two minutes. The menu features conventional toppings such as pepperoni and mushrooms, but includes a few more exotic offerings like goat cheese and bacon. Pizzas run about $8. The Sajha franchise group has opened other quick-service restaurant franchises, such as Which Wich Superior Sandwiches and Cold Stone Creamery. The firm’s contract with Blaze was originally announced in December last year and is for three outlets in the greater L.A. area. Although no date has been set, Patel said the restaurant should open next month. Staff reporter Jacquelinne Mejia can be reached at (818) 316-3121 or jmejia@sfvbj.com.

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