"I think it looks great," Councilman Dave Golonski said.
In addition to the building's exterior look, council members also
approved a design change that was requested by city planning officials in
which developers will lower Palm Avenue 10 feet to install a courtyard
for live entertainment, Center Oak President Fred Bruning said.
The new plans will not substantially raise the project's $76-million
budget, developers said.
"The changes came into the plans from city staff," Bruning said.
The project, known as Burbank Entertainment Village, will split
244,617 square feet of development between the theaters, restaurants,
retail, office space and a health club.
So far, Bruning said he has signed enough tenants to occupy more than
80% of the space. They include Borders Books, 24 Hour Fitness, Spark
restaurant, Rubio's Baja Grill and Coldstone Creamery, an upscale ice
Center Oak will demolish the existing AMC Burbank 14 Theatres to build
the project, which will include two parking structures, in two phases.
Construction will begin April 2 on the first phase. The new theater is
set to open in September 2001 and the project is scheduled to be finished
in September 2002, Bruning said.
Before he can begin building however, Bruning must clear one final
Dan Wonser, who owns Fast Lane Boardshop, still has not sold his
business to Center Oak. The Redevelopment Agency condemned Wonser's
surf-and-skate shop Oct. 26, giving him 90 days to find a new location
for his business.
The agency appraised the property for $650,000, but has not been able
to make a deal with Wonser, who has rejected several offers. Now, the
agency can legally evict him. However, Project Manager Jack Lynch said
the agency has given Wonser until the end of March to relocate.
Wonser has also rejected offers to sign a lease with Center Oak,
entitling him to relocation benefits.
"To the extent that we can be flexible with them, we will," Lynch
said. "There's always one or two businesses that need every ounce of time
to get their new site ready to go."