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Caltech Files Permit Request to Tear Down Building and Replace It With a New One

Published on Monday, January 17, 2022 | 11:50 am

Caltech wants to demolish a one-story building at its campus at 1200 E. California Blvd. and build a new three-story 80,000 square-foot academic laboratory building at the same location, and is applying for a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) from the City to make this happen.

The proposed project would deviate from the identified building setback, the rooftop appurtenance area, and appurtenance height specified in the campus’ approved Master Plan. The project also involves a relocation of a protected tree on the campus.

Under the City’s Zoning regulations, a CUP is required for minor changes that may be inconsistent with an approved Master Plan.

According to plans submitted to the Planning and Community Development Department as part of the application, the location of the proposed project is on the east side of Wilson Ave. just north of the San Pasqual Street intersection. This parcel has an area of approximately 18 acres and is developed as part of the Caltech campus.

Caltech said the new building will be called the Resnick Sustainability Center when completed, and is intended to be a modern, flexible research building capable of supporting and expanding the research work of the Resnick Sustainability Institute (RSI).

It will initially host facilities for four of the RSI’s research centers: an Ecology and Biosphere Engineering Facility, a Solar Science and Catalysis Center, a Remote Sensing Center, and a Translational Science Facility for pilot testing at scale.

Caltech said the project is currently in the design development phase. Construction is projected to start in early 2022 with anticipated occupancy in 2024.

The institute’s first Master Plan was approved in 1989. A first amendment was approved in 1995 and a second in 1999. The current Master Plan is the third and was approved by the Pasadena City Council in December 2006 with no specific term or sunset date, which means it is indefinitely in force.

With certain conditions for approval, the Planning Department said it is recommending approval of the CUP application by the Hearing Officer before passing it on to the City Council.

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