Officials also plan to erect a Bob Hope statue in the park and will construct a “Comedy Walk of Fame,” billed as an homage to some of entertainment’s greatest comedians.
“The first thing people will run into on what is arguably the most important intersection in the Media District at Olive and Alameda will be an iconic sculpture of Bob Hope,” O’Neil said.
“This is a far superior element for the Media District than having the museum there.”
The sculpture will showcase the former entertainer in his signature top hat leaning against a cane.
Like other sites in Burbank, such as the upcoming Community Services Building, the Bob Hope Centre will be certified as environmentally friendly by the United States Green Building Council.
The project has taken on a new urgency for at least two reasons, said Greg Hermann, chief assistant community development director.
The project’s 10-year development agreement is set to expire in 2011, he said.
“We’ll get this done within three years,” Hermann said, adding that the center would be the third site in Burbank to bear Hope’s name and the first to have a statue dedicated to the former entertainer.
A post office in Downtown Burbank and the city’s airport are both named for Hope, who died in 2003.
Hope’s daughter Linda called on the council to act quickly.
“My mother, who is 99 years old, said, ‘When are we going to get this building finished?’” she told the council.
“We want to get on a fast track to get this building done. This is going to be something special when this is finished.”
The building will be ready for occupancy the second quarter of 2011, O’Neil said.
JEREMY OBERSTEIN covers City Hall and public safety. He may be reached at (818) 637-3242 or by e-mail at jeremy.oberstein@ latimes.com.