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Editorial:

Magical expansion

May 15, 2010

It’s a rarity in this economic climate that cities get the sort of project proposal that came before the Glendale City Council this week — a 338,000-square-foot expansion of Burbank-based Walt Disney Co.’s creative campus.

The six-story office complex, with towering palms and a dense park-like area, will do more than just usher in a major revamp of San Fernando industrial corridor, bringing in a projected 1,200 jobs.

The collage of entrainment-based behemoths in the area straddling Glendale and Burbank has for years been a sturdy development base for both cities. Their presence has fueled a local cottage industry of smaller businesses that have cropped up over the years solely to service the major studios.

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Even if the majority of those 1,200 jobs are filled by local residents, an influx of fresh commuters to the area will mean more dollars spent at surrounding businesses, and potentially more well-paid workers deciding to call Glendale or Burbank home.

Glendale alone has been overseeing tens of millions of dollars’ worth of infrastructure changes to the San Fernando Road corridor in anticipation of the project, including a $44-million flyover bridge off the Ventura (134) Freeway.

That Disney takes its role seriously enough to spare no expense on the expansion, hiring the same top-notch architectural firm that designed the famous Olympic Water Cube in Beijing, is a testament to the mutual benefit our cities get by claiming the host role.


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