Pasadena Office Occupancy Tops Glendale, Downtown L.A.

Published : Tuesday, September 17, 2019 | 6:40 AM

Office rental rates in Pasadena are higher than those in neighboring Glendale and towering downtown Los Angeles, according to a report by the City’s Office of Economic Development showed.

If numbers tell even half the story, these would suggest Pasadena is a favored destination for businesses want to set up shop in California.

Eric Duyshart, Pasadena’s Economic Development Manager, said the total vacancy rate for Pasadena is 10.1 percent.

The City’s full-service office buildings have a slightly lower vacancy rate of 13 percent, compared to Glendale’s 17 percent and downtown L.A.’s 15.1 percent, the report said.

Duyshart said retail and storefront occupancy this have been relatively stable over the past five years, despite shifting ground in the retail industry and significant competition from regional retail centers in Arcadia, Glendale and downtown LA.

The good news does not extend to storefront vacancies, a category Pasadena’s experience is closer to the regional mean, he said.

“In Pasadena, there have been various buildings that have remained vacant,” Duyshart wrote in the report, which he is scheduled to present in full to the Economic Development and Technology Committee Sept. 17. “Staff often receives questions regarding several high profile buildings that have stayed empty for various reasons.”

Duyshart will present updates on some of the sites affected by this trend during the meeting. His report contains the list of properties below:


1283 E. Colorado Blvd. (an old Acura dealership site)

3841 E. Sierra Madre Blvd. (a previous Albertsons site)

2940 E. Foothill Blvd. (former Avon facility)

475 South Lake Avenue (previous Borders retailer)

577 S. Arroyo Parkway (Dona Rosa block)

1335 North Lake Avenue (previous Family Savings)

1365 E. Colorado (former Ford dealership)

470 N. Lake (previous Kaiser Permanente clinic)

945 S. Arroyo Parkway (previous LA Cold Storage building)

1941 N. Lincoln (LA Steelcraft – south parcel)

1307 N. Lincoln (previous Pearl Plastics site)

3405 E. Colorado Blvd. (previous OSH site)

1100 N. Fair Oaks Avenue (previous U.S. Post Office)

2632 E. Washington Blvd. (previous St. Luke Hospital site)

409 N. Fair Oaks (previous True Value Hardware store)

2320 E. Colorado Blvd. (previous old Uptown Theater site)

841 E. Washington Blvd. (Washington Theater)
Pasadena was recently listed as one of six finalists in the 2019 Most Business-Friendly City in L.A. County Award, which recognizes the work cities do in creating a better environment for businesses to locate, succeed, grow, and hire. The awards are sponsored by the Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation (LAEDC).

Listed in the category for cities with a population of 50,000 and over, Pasadena is competing with Bellflower, Gardena, Lancaster, Norwalk and Rosemead for the award.

The LAEDC described Pasadena as a thriving community boasting a quality of life that is recognized nationally.

“With a highly educated workforce that enjoys a dynamic range of amenities and support services,” LAEDC said in a statement, “Pasadena offers everything businesses and their employees want in a location. With a history of successful commerce in the community, Pasadena municipal government is dedicated to the continued support of a fertile environment that encourages new business and innovation.”

Earlier this month, Steven Edward Marcus, Executive Director of Cushman and Wakefield, a commercial real estate services company, said the Pasadena economy is deemed to be growing and robust.

“It all begins with capital,” Marcus said, “and we see lots of money coming into the city. We have investors from San Francisco and New York buying our buildings.”

As an example, Marcus said $100 million is being spent to develop a project at Parsons and to acquire the old Avon plant in East Pasadena.

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