Heritage Square South, After Long Gestation, Could Move Forward After Council Vote Monday

Developing the entire Heritage Square site has been on the City’s drawing board since 2001

Published : Monday, January 28, 2019 | 5:48 AM

Pasadena’s City Council is expected to act Monday, January 28, on a recommendation from City Manager Steve Mermell to negotiate with Bridge Housing for the development of a mixed-use project on the City-owned Heritage Square South, part of the City’s Heritage Square property, a 2.8-acre block of parcels bounded by Fair Oaks Avenue on the west, Painter Street on the north, Orange Grove Boulevard on the south, and Wheeler Lane on the east.

The Department of Housing, in an Agenda Report for Monday’s City Council meeting, said they will be seeking direction on how to proceed with the proposed development process, from negotiating with Bridge Housing, to conducting community outreach, up to the finalization of a Development Agreement for the project.

Once negotiations are concluded, the City Manager is expected to conduct community outreach about the project, before returning to the City Council with a proposed Development Agreement with the developer.

In a meeting on December 17 last year, the City Council directed the Housing Department to pursue the development of Heritage Square South.

As directed, the Housing Department said the site would be developed with a mixed-use project with retail space on the first floor totaling 10,000 to 15,000 square feet, adequate for two to four retail tenants; permanent supportive housing for seniors on two floors above the retail space at a density of 65 to 70 units, based on current zoning limits plus a 35 percent density bonus; and surface and subterranean parking.

The Housing Department is looking at a development timeline of about 35 months where Bridge Housing is directly engaged, beginning with the formation of a working group through the start of construction, the report showed.

Developing the entire Heritage Square site has been on the City’s drawing board since 2001, but it was only in 2010 when the City decided to develop the north portion into the Heritage Square Senior Apartments.

The development of Heritage Square South was halted because of the dissolution of redevelopment in 2012 and the loss of redevelopment money.

The state designated Heritage Square South in 2013 as a Housing Asset to be used primarily for affordable housing. As such, under state law, the development of the site must commence by the end of February 2023; otherwise, the property must be sold through the City’s surplus disposition process and the sale and proceeds returned to the Housing Successor’s Low and Moderate Income Housing Asset Fund.

Heritage Square South is directly adjacent to Heritage Square Senior Apartments which Bridge Housing also developed and currently operates.

The Housing Department said using Bridge Housing to develop Heritage Square South “provides a unique opportunity for unified management, including parking, shared common areas, shared maintenance and joint delivery of support services.”

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