Published : Monday, December 9, 2019 | 6:32 AM
The developers of the 10 West Walnut project in Pasadena, who are constructing a mixed-use complex that includes offices, residences, and commercial spaces around a five-story, Class A creative office building within the larger development of 100 West Walnut, will report tonight they are struggling to meet a 20-percent local-hire goal that they committed to when the City of Pasadena approved the project in 2015.
The commitment was part of a Development Agreement that Lincoln Properties signed with the City on April 27, 2015.
On Monday, Pasadena’s Department of Finance will provide the City Council Monday an update about the developer’s initiatives to hire more local-hire employees and open up more opportunities for local businesses.
The update will include a progress report about the Public Art component of the project, which includes the development of new public art, the preservation of existing art on the site, and installation of interpretive signage recognizing the cultural and community significance of the area.
Construction on the project that will convert the 22.67-acre property located between Fair Oaks Avenue and Pasadena Avenue, Walnut Street and Union Street to a mixed-use office campus and residential community is currently ongoing.
The Development Agreement between the City of Pasadena and the developer says Lincoln Properties will aim for directing 20 percent of building construction-related jobs and contracting opportunities to Pasadena residents and Pasadena-based businesses. The developer also committed to make a “good-faith effort” to engage local businesses that would supply at least 15 percent of the building materials required for the construction, provided these materials are readily available and comparably priced to the same materials elsewhere.
In an annual progress report to City Manager Steve Mermell, Lincoln Properties said 53 subcontractors have been hired for the 10 West Walnut project as of August 2019. Of these, only 11 had any sort of presence in Pasadena.
“This means that there have been 11 potential opportunities for the 10 West Walnut team to employ local subcontractors on the project,” the report said.
The report also said the developer has so far employed 45 Pasadena residents on the project and registered 450 Pasadena residents in their local hire database. Lincoln Properties has also contacted over 100 local businesses to assess opportunities within the scope of the project, according to the report.
On the Public Art component, the Finance Department said the developer has deposited $500,000 into the City’s Cultural Trust Fund, to cover the cost of construction and installation of the artwork as required in the Development Agreement. The amount is exclusive of art consultant fees, design, or other fees, the total of which may not exceed $80,000.
The money was deposited on November 28, 2018, the report said. The developer and City staff continue to work on site selection and design for the public art installation.
Reporting on the cumulative totals, the developer said they have paid local wages equivalent to 2.84 percent of total wages, or $184,032, as of the end of August. They’ve also paid local subcontractors a total of $853,819, or 3.38 percent of total subcontractor costs. The developer has also paid $258,535 to local suppliers, or 2.56 percent of total supplier spend, the report said.
In the report, Lincoln Properties also acknowledged that despite its efforts, the results achieved thus far are “not as strong as originally hoped.”
The company said they have been able to find jobs for approximately 10 percent of the worker registrants for the local hire program and “made extensive efforts” to ensure Pasadena residents and businesses are involved in the project.
“As an important development project in Pasadena, we appreciate the importance of engaging as many local residents and small businesses to participate in the creation of what is sure to be an important community asset for decades to come,” Robert Kane, Executive Vice President of Lincoln Properties, wrote in the report. “We have worked throughout the city, meeting with residents, businesses, civic leaders, non-profit organizations and more to connect residents and local businesses to opportunities to participate in the development of 10 West Walnut.”