August 25, 2017


Building and building until... wait, that's it?

From the largest Ikea in America to the renovation of the Burbank Town Center mall that, literally, blew the roof right off the building, my family and I bear witness to all sorts of huge construction projects that transform so much of the city we call home.

But it was a much smaller project that recently caught our attention. A rundown building that used to house a Curves fitness center and sat vacant for much of the past eight years suddenly sprung to life. Construction crews stripped away the walls and gutted most of the interior as well, leaving the frame for what would become a… well, we had no idea.

When a new business moves into a neighborhood, usually the first task is to prominently place the sign reading “Future Home of XYZ Company!” or “XYZ Company Coming Soon!” out front. We knew, for example, that a Yard House restaurant was opening in Downtown Burbank months before the construction actually began. The idea, of course, is to attract potential customers well before your doors open and, hopefully, ensure a successful launch.

Instead, this new business played coy, leaving my family and me speculating on what it would ultimately become throughout the months of renovations. When it was clear that a drive-thru window would be a new feature of the building, our speculation hit overdrive.

Being from Boston, I hoped for a Dunkin Donuts location that knows how to make a coffee, regular. My wife’s Missouri roots had her hoping for a Fazoli’s, a “fast casual” Italian chain with roots in Kentucky and locations throughout the midwest. My kids simply thrilled to the idea of something new to experience in our neighborhood.

The weeks passed and we saw painters and gardeners, electricians and plumbers come and go with still no clue of the ultimate result. Until one day, finally, they attached a sign to the front of the new building reading… Comerica Bank.

Now, no offense to you fans of Comerica Bank’s “Rich Rewards” checking account, but this wasn’t exactly the satisfying conclusion we had in mind to our weeks and weeks of anticipation.

Oh well. I guess there’s always Cost Plus World Market to look forward to.

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