Planned 7-Story Hotel Complex at Hill and Colorado Draws Fire

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Article and Photography by RACHEL YOUNG

5:05 am | November 8, 2013

Meet Leslee See Leong and Joe Schulman. This couple carries on a third generational business that was established in 1888 by Leong’s grandfather Fong See and has sold Asian antiques at 1335 East Colorado Boulevard for the past 33 years.

Their firm, the F. Suie One Company, the oldest Asian antique business in the United States, has its home in a historic Pasadena building built by Theodore Plesh.

At a city-sponsored scoping meeting Thursday night, Leong and Schulman raised concerns about the negative impact of a hotel complex which developers propose to construct next door to their business on the site of the former Ford auto dealership at the corner of Hill Ave. and East Colorado Blvd.

The proposed project for 1335 and 1355 East Colorado Boulevard would build a 375-room hotel on the north parcel up to 90 feet or seven stories tall and a 150 boutique hotel up to three stories tall with restaurants and retail on the ground floor.

Leong and Schulman’s adjacent property and business could suffer during the construction phase from noise, extra dust, and vibrations that could damage goods in their store, or the proposed parking garage that might alter the structural integrity of the foundation, the pair said.

Added traffic was also a concern they wanted the city to research.

“One element we always forget is we don’t live here, that’s why we invite the public, let us know what we missed,” City Planner Jose Jimenez said.

Nicole Colby headed up the Initial Study and will work on the Draft Environmental Impact Report.

The north parcel is about 127,961 square feet or 2.94 acres and the smaller south parcel is 30,895 square feet or .71 acres. The parking lots would contain 700 for the large hotel and 150 for the smaller hotel.

The scoping meeting was the first public meeting of six meetings. Wednesday, November 13 a second scoping meeting will be held with the Planning Commission in the City Council Chambers at 6:30 p.m. Public comment for the scoping period is open until November 18.

At that time a draft Environmental Impact Report will be written with a 45-day public comment period to review the environmental impacts. The final Environmental Impact Report will then be drafted and submitted to City Council and by summer according to Colby will hopefully be a certified Environmental Impact Report. With that document finished the expected 18-month construction can begin.

For more information and to find the initial study document visit The document is also available at City Hall, the Central Library and the Hill Branch Library. Send comments to City of Pasadena, Planning Department Attn: Jose D Jimenez, 175 N Garfield Avenue.

Regardless of the construction impact, Leong and Schulonan said they were excited for the project because it could bring in more potential visitors to their shop. They said they just want to protect the building and their tenants in the process.