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Great Indoors

August 21, 2012
Re: “Store work may be halted,” Aug. 18: I can't believe how ridiculous this is becoming. Who are these three women waging this war against Walmart? Why should their dislike for Walmart mean any more than the likes of the people that want the Walmart in Burbank? I guarantee that if the judge rules in favor of the Walmart, they will take a different stand to try and stop the store. It's not about the traffic, it's not about the foreign-made goods, it's not about the alleged low wages or benefits for the employees, and it's not about the parking either.
July 27, 2012
I wish to thank Mark Kellam for his recent article on the status of the Walmart litigation (“ Walmart case has its trial date set ,” July 25). I am livid that, in my opinion, the union recruited these three women into filing this lawsuit. If they were represented by independent counsel (not UFCWU), I would be less inclined to believe they are just trying to further their special interest (organized labor) disguised as environmental concerns. Protesters dislike Walmart's non-union position and allegedly inferior employee compensation/benefits.
May 18, 2012
Burbank residents are tired of Walmart spokespeople falsely claiming that Burbank wants a Walmart, and we're tired of being referred to as “special interests.” When it was announced that Walmart purchased the space formerly occupied by the Great Indoors, it was residents who launched Facebook pages and a Twitter account in an effort to organize; it was residents who stayed until midnight at City Council meetings to speak out against Walmart...
By Bryan Mahoney | July 26, 2011
With the speeches over, Jess Talamantes was free to roam the crowd of thousands filling Olive Avenue. He'd already danced with Mickey and Minnie on the steps of City Hall, bantered with a band and weatherman Fritz Coleman, and now he was free for the last order of business at Burbank's centennial party: join his neighbors not as mayor of Burbank, but as a father, brother, husband and friend. That was a few weeks ago - a fortuitous honor that he be elected by his City Council peers to serve as mayor on the 100th anniversary year of the incorporation of the city.
By Mark Kellam, | September 16, 2011
Months after purchasing the former Great Indoors site in Burbank, Walmart representatives say they plan to open a store there, calling the 120,000-square-foot building a prime location. Walmart had declined to confirm plans to move into the space until this week, after a feasibility study found a store in Burbank would be successful. Walmart spokesman Steven Restivo said he expects the company will use all of the 120,000-square-foot building, but added that “leasing opportunities within the store are to be determined.” Sometimes the mega-retailer leases space to other retailers, such as a small restaurant or nail salon, if it is putting a store in a large building, he said.
April 17, 2002
Karen S. Kim The Great Indoors to host grand opening MEDIA DISTRICT NORTH -- The Great Indoors in the Burbank Empire Center is hosting a community celebration Thursday, complete with dignitaries, music and a public artwork display. Burbank Mayor David Laurell will attend the event, in which the Crescenta Valley High School Band will perform and the artwork by local graphic designer April Greiman will be unveiled. Greiman's piece, "Zoids," is a sidewalk design that serves as a welcome mat for the store.
By Bill Kisliuk, | July 5, 2011
Walmart, the largest retailer in the world, has set its sights on Burbank. Walmart Real Estate Business Trust last month acquired a 12-acre property that houses the Great Indoors store at the Empire Center, which is already home to a Target store and other “big box” retailers. Sears, which owns Great Indoors, plans to shutter the store in August, according to a company spokeswoman. The property is adjacent to the Empire Center, but is owned and managed separately. Steven Restivo, a Walmart spokesman, declined to say whether the company plans a supercenter, which typically operates 24 hours a day and employs roughly 350 people, or a smaller store.
By Mark Kellam, | October 2, 2012
Walmart has filed a motion seeking to lift an injunction that has prevented the retailer from constructing a store in Burbank prior to the outcome of a lawsuit brought by three residents. The motion was filed last week after a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge granted both sides more time to prepare for a trial in which the residents are attempting to block construction of a Walmart at the former Great Indoors site adjacent to the Empire Center. The residents claim city officials erred in issuing the building permits because they did not adequately address impacts to the surrounding streets.
October 2, 2013
A tentative ruling that halted Walmart's plans - at least temporarily - for a store near the Empire Center was finalized Friday. Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Allan J. Goodman's final judgment confirms that Burbank officials must rescind building permits issued to Walmart to open a store adjacent to the Empire Center, and set aside the California Environmental Quality Act exemption made for the project in 2012. The lawsuit was filed by three Burbank residents - Shanna Ingalsbee, Katherine Olson and Yvette Ziraldo - in an effort to block the opening of the store until street improvements outlined in an ordinance approved by the Burbank City Council a dozen years ago are completed and another environmental impact review is conducted.
By Daniel Siegal and Mark Kellam | September 7, 2013
Citing street improvements more than a dozen years overdue and a flawed environmental impact report, a judge said Wednesday that Burbank officials must rescind building permits issued to Walmart to open a store in the Empire Center. “The city has proceeded in a manner not authorized by law, failed to conduct any environmental assessment when the facts and circumstances clearly require at least an initial inquiry,” Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Allan J. Goodman stated in his tentative ruling.
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