dealership, but backed out in 1997 after failing to reach proximity
agreement with other nearby Ford-owned dealerships. The land was left
After a letter sent four months ago by Mayor David Laurell went
unanswered, he proposed a land swap or buying the space in another
letter to Donald K. Huffman, Ford's national market representation
manager. Of the 12 acres, Ford owns eight and the city owns the rest.
"It's an absolutely superlative auto dealership location and Ford
is just sitting on it with nothing happening," City Manager Bud Ovrom
said. "It's very frustrating."
The most recent letter, written Dec. 3, reiterated that sentiment,
with Laurell stating he was also "disappointed and frustrated" with
Ford's disregard for the site once home to the Zero Corp.
Laurell also requested Ford demolish the dilapidated building on
the site and clean it of toxins. He suggested Ford consider selling
the space -- which it originally purchased for $13 million -- back to
the city so "we could undertake the task of putting the site back
into productive use." The city would then pursue another automotive
Ford did not return calls for comment.
According to the Natelson Study of 2000, an in-depth analysis of
Burbank's economy, the city misses out on $75 million yearly from the
lack of potential auto-dealership revenues. The only major dealership
is Community Chevrolet on Olive Avenue.