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Making Burbank Boulevard beautiful

May 05, 2004

Ryan Carter

Clancyna Atkins has made a living off making people attractive. And

as she brings her beauty and wedding salon business -- Image III --

into its third year on Burbank Boulevard, she has also focused on

making the street and its businesses more attractive.

Atkins led the creation of the Burbank Boulevard Merchants Assn.,

an organization of businesses from Victory Boulevard to Hollywood

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Way.

"When I moved in, the positive thing I saw was there was traffic

on the boulevard," Atkins said. "But the negative part was the place

almost looked industrial. There was nothing attractive about the

boulevard."

As she settled in, she began brainstorming.

"I began thinking that if I'm strapped for dollars to market my

business, others must be too," she said.

Along the boulevard near Atkins' business are a mix of retail,

industrial supply and service businesses. Atkins envisions a

boulevard with diagonal parking, more shade, promotions, and a place

where people stop to shop instead of using the street only as a

thoroughfare.

The goal of the group is networking and pulling together

self-assessed dues of $35 a year to promote the area.

As Atkins began introducing herself and her ideas, business owners

started taking an interest in pooling together funds to advertise,

schedule meetings and network with each other, much like merchants in

the nearby Magnolia Park Merchants Assn.

Atkins said her ideas of an association were met with zeal, and

sometimes with hesitance, from merchants who had not seen similar

organizing or were not sure how it would benefit them.

But since October, the association has grown from nine businesses

to 18.

The association recently ordered flags to go outside of member

businesses with the association's logo -- a street sign that says

"Burbank Blvd." -- on it. And the group has kicked around the idea of

pushing for diagonal parking and trees in the area. They have also

pooled money to advertise in local publications under the association

name.

Merchants seem to like the idea of an association.

"It's a way to unify the merchants, network and bring awareness to

the variety of businesses in the area" said David Geisen, manager at

Burbank Printing, a member business.

The merchants meet every other week at Burbank Printing, 3031 W.

Burbank Blvd. For more information, call Atkins at 955-9467.

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