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Business Spotlight:Owners paying to spruce up the area

An improvement district funded by local business is having an effect on Magnolia Park.

June 06, 2007|By Rachel Kane

Cleaner streets and increased parking are a few of the perks Magnolia Park property owners are providing to the area this month in an effort to rejuvenate the district.

Property owners in the commercial areas of Magnolia and Hollywood boulevards will contribute $250,000 every year for five years to keep streets clean, parking spaces plentiful and put the mostly quiet shopping area into a more hustling and bustling category through a program the City Council approved in February.

"I think it's a fabulous idea," said Damon Canfield, owner of The Attic Door gift shop on Magnolia Boulevard. "I think it definitely is, and anything trying to make things better is worth it for the people that live in Burbank. I live in Burbank myself and I definitely do notice the difference in the area. I think it's great."

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Sidewalks, once speckled with bird droppings and tree debris, are now steam-cleaned weekly.

Street sweepers now come by twice a week and, as part of a shared parking project, 52 new public parking spots were installed at the Burbank Community Church.

Some parking areas have also been converted to diagonal parking.

"I've had my store for 13 years, and it's been there 15 years," said Mary Christensen, owner of Bell Cottage gift shop on Magnolia Boulevard. "I've seen a lot of things happen but, you know, they really haven't done a lot as yet … they have done the diagonal parking, which has really, really helped I think, a lot."

With about $67,500 budgeted for parking improvements each year for the next five years through a property-based improvement district program, administrators are surveying merchants about their parking needs, said Mary Hamzoian, Magnolia Park operations coordinator.

A new parking lot planned for between North Maple Street and North Kenwood Street would provide extra, free parking to Magnolia Park consumers.

The size of the lot will be determined by the survey, which is expected to be finished sometime this summer, Hamzoian said. Construction will not begin until the survey is completed, she said.

The shopping area, which is from Buena Vista Street to Clybourn Avenue on West Magnolia Boulevard and West Chandler Boulevard to West Clark Avenue on Hollywood way, also has its own logo and website.

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