New Hyatt Place Hotel Breaks Ground at Hub of Downtown Revitalization

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From STAFF REPORTS

5:56 am | September 15, 2017


Hyatt Place Pasadena broke ground on Thursday, September 14, on its 186-room hotel located in the heart of Pasadena at the corner of South Los Robles Avenue and East Colorado Boulevard, an emerging hub of new construction and economic activity.

Executives of Ensemble Real Estate Investments, developers of the project, and Councilmember Steve Madison spoke at a brief ceremony prior to a symbolic shovel and dirt turning on the site before a gathering of city officials, including Councilmember Tyron Hampton, and representatives of banks, architectural firms, investors, builders and others supporting the project.

The facility will be composed of a six-story hotel paired with a seven-story mixed-use building. It will fill the 150,000-square-foot space previously occupied by a Macy’s department store.

“Its (the hotel’s) location here at the Paseo is really a synergy between hospitality and entertainment. This is a location within the mall that would provide guests as well as the businesses and an opportunity to share resources back and forth,” Conrad Garner, vice president of development of Ensemble Real Estate Investments, told Pasadena Now. “We have worked closely with the master developer here, Arrow Retail, to integrate into the Paseo, now and in their future vision. “.

Garner also called on Pasadena residents to look forward to experiencing the new hotel after it opens, saying it won’t just be for travelers to the city.

“We hope that the local community really takes advantage of the meeting spaces we’re bringing into the downtown business district. We have two incredible meeting rooms, a fronting promenade area, we have a second-floor outdoor deck with a fire pit that we hope to attract social business. This is not just for the travelers. It is for the community as well,” he said.

Pasadena District 1 Councilmember Tyron Hampton welcomed the construction of the new hotel saying that Pasadena at the moment suffers from a shortage of hotels.

“As some residents may know, our city is in a shortfall for hotels right now. We have a yearly, day-to-day worth of about 87 percent capacity at all of our hotel space and bringing another hotel to a destination city like the City of Pasadena, brings in more travelers, as well as gives us the opportunity to have more conventions,” he said.

In his speech before the ceremonial groundbreaking, Garner said the construction of the Hyatt Place Pasadena is a project that has been four years in the making.

Kambiz Babaoff, chairman of Ensemble Real Estate Investments, said that construction of the new hotel was delayed as they were looking for the proper location for it in Pasadena.

“Part of the reason it took so long is that it took a lot of turns to find the proper location for this hotel. As you all know, this used to be a Macy’s. The Macy’s was taken out and we designed what we think would be a fabulous hotel for Pasadena. We are very excited to be a part of the community of Pasadena,” he said.

Babaoff said as developers, they have taken into consideration the historical significance of the area in building the new hotel.

“[Pasadena] is a historic place in California and a significant city in the Los Angeles County. We have the hotel, from a design standpoint, become part of the community in terms of the look and the feel,” he said. “There is a lot of history in this place and we want to be respectful. Our job as developers is to do that and this hotel is going to be how we will be here for a very long time and we want it to be significant given the location, it is important. A lot of efforts have gone to this.”

District 6 Councilmember Steve Madison meanwhile said the City Council has been unanimous in supporting the new hotel project.

“In this project, we (Councilmembers) have really been unanimous in being supportive and wanting to see this hotel go forward. We believe we are under-hoteled in Pasadena, especially on the Colorado corridor and the center of the City,” Madison said. “If you do a 360 from this location, you have not only our great convention center and civic auditorium, we have a new medical school coming into the southeast. We have the City Hall not far from here, and Paseo [Colorado] which is an important retail site.”

Madison said the new hotel will help solve the present problem of hotel room shortage in Pasadena especially in view of the coming holidays.

“We have not enough hotel rooms in Pasadena especially around the holidays and the major football and other events that we have at the Rose Bowl. And especially to be in the Colorado corridor here, I have no doubt that it will be a big success,” he said.

Madison said he is also confident that with the new hotel in operation, the city will enjoy significant economic benefits.

“This is a great project and a lot of economic activity is happening.So we are really grateful. It will be important for City. It will be important for the Paseo and we will generate a lot of direct and indirect economic benefits for us all,” he said.

Earlier, Richard McDonald, the project’s legal counsel, said the Hyatt will provide an expansive economic boost for Pasadena’s central commercial district.

“Bigger for the Paseo, bigger for the convention center, bigger for the city as a whole,” McDonald said. “Not just the sales tax revenue, which would be significant, but also the support that it will provide for the convention center, the support that it will provide for the Paseo, the support that it will provide for the midtown area where the Paseo is located, as well as the Playhouse District to the east and the Old Pasadena to the West. Kaiser Medical School is going to be across the street diagonally to provide support as well.”

McDonald also said the project is expected to generate hundreds of new jobs in the construction phase, and more jobs when the hotel finally opens for the public.

Pasadena’s Economic Development Department Manager Eric Duyshart said the City welcomes the new project enthusiastically, especially since it should generate employment and help the local economy.

“We’re trying to see the improvement to the Paseo Colorado block and it is going to be nice to have another hotel option so close to the commercial center,” Duyshart said. “And the Hyatt place is a good operator for the business people that are coming into Pasadena.”