Despite the economic benefits provided by the entertainment industry, Burbank underwent a brief period of turmoil when the Lockheed Corporation and other industrial manufacturers relocated. To stimulate Burbank's stagnant economy, a series of developments began in the early 1990s. This means a great number of new apartment complexes for you and your family.
Know Your Neighbors
Like most cities in Los Angeles County, Burbank's borders and overall feel generally changes based how close you get to the borders of its neighbors. You and Burbank, however, have some pretty great neighbors.
North Hollywood is located to the southwest of Burbank and is an up-and-coming area with some decent nightlife for young singles. Yes, okay, "up-and-coming" in this case does also mean "kind of seedy," but you won't be living in North Hollywood, you'll be just close enough to visit it whenever you'd like. Additionally, the NoHo Arts District keeps things creative and fresh.
To the east, Burbank is bordered by Glendale, which is a friendly LA suburb with a good safety rating and high property values.
What this means for Burbank is that it has a good reputation for being a safe, family-friendly area with a slightly cheaper rental market than Glendale and LA proper. Burbank is a suburb of epic proportions, meaning that most public life exists in manufactured outdoor shopping malls and entertainment centers. As a suburb, Burbank may be a bit sleepy for young singles, but its proximity to the nightlife of LA proper can help keep you entertained.
Burbank isn't all shopping malls and movie studios, however. The city is bordered to the south by Griffith Park, one of the largest municipal parks in the country with over 4,000 acres of land. Additionally, the large expanse of Angeles National Forest lies just east of the city.
Neighborhoods in Burbank
Burbank proper is considered a Valley city, which means that its located between the foothills of the Verdugo Mountains and the flat area of the San Fernando Valley. Because of its proximity to Angeles National Forest and Griffith Park, housing and development is concentrated in the western and northern reaches of town.
Downtown Burbank is home to the Media Center shopping, dining and entertainment area. Located within this pocket of development are several condos, duplexes and apartment buildings with a variety of amenities. This area has the added benefit of being close to Burbank's studios, so if you're working at Warner Bros., it'll just be a short commute. Rentals in this area generally go for between $1200-1400 for a one bedroom.
Northern and Western Burbank have a similar feel to the downtown, though slightly less bustling. Many of Burbank's outdoor malls and shopping centers are located in these portions of the city. The primary development in this area is the Burbank Empire Center, built on a former Lockheed toxic site. Don't worry, this area has posed no danger to residents, and apartments in this area are quite desirable. One bedrooms in northern and western Burbank generally go for between $1300-1500, though more expensive, high-end rentals exist throughout these neighborhoods.
Most Burbank rentals are done through the on-site property managers of large developments and complexes. If you are interested in living in a development--and hopefully you are because these buildings dominate the rental market--check out a few before you settle. On paper, many of these buildings have similar amenities, including laundry facilities, swimming pools and community centers, but various rental options distinguish them.
Most large apartment complexes offer flexible lease options. Six and twelve month leases are fairly commonplace, though many management companies offer leases for shorter than six months with a short-term fee tacked on to your rent. Deposits and application fees for these rentals generally add up to be about $50-100 more than one month's rent.
A few private rental houses do exist in certain parts of the city and these are mostly offered through the owners. Private homes will not have the amenities or flexible lease options of larger developments, but they offer a sense of quiet and privacy that can sometimes be lacking in planned communities.
There are a surprising number of public transportation options for the Burbank commuter. Express and local buses operated by LA's Metro will get you into Glendale, Hollywood and downtown Los Angeles. Unfortunately, just because the buses are conveniently located and numerous does not mean they'll be faster or better. The 11-mile commute into downtown Los Angeles can take up to an hour via bus.
Another option for the car-less commuter is the Metrolink train. The Ventura County Line has a stop at the Bob Hope Airport, and the Antelope Valley Line stops in downtown Burbank. Though this can be quite costly, the Metrolink is the fastest public transportation into Los Angeles's Union Station.
What about driving? Well, you are living in Los Angeles County, my friend. Traffic during the weekdays is pretty insufferable by most accounts, particularly into and out of Los Angeles proper.
So, welcome to the Valley new Burbank resident! Whether you're working in the pictures or just looking for a family-friendly LA suburb, you'll be sure to find a comfortable apartment in Burbank's many new developments!
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