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Council Approves $2.5 Million Loan to the Pasadena Center Operating Company

Published on Monday, September 12, 2022 | 7:27 pm

The Pasadena Center Operating Company will receive a $2.5 million loan from the city to fund capital improvement projects. The PCOC operates the Pasadena Civic Auditorium and the Convention Center.

The 10-year loan will be used for future PCOC capital improvement needs, to be repaid from PCOC’s operating revenues.

Projects include waterproofing and painting of the Civic Auditorium, interior painting, and other needs as they arise. 

“The PCOC has had loans over the years to fund major Capital Improvement Projects (CIP). The current CIP at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium was approved by the City Council in the FY 2020 budget,” said Mike Ross. “Due to COVID and the subsequent lack of funds the project was put on hold. The scope of the project includes restoration of the façade, roof and plaza of the 91-year-old Civic Auditorium. Due to the historical significance of the Civic Auditorium, the project will follow the National Park Service, Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties. Work completed to date includes research, field work, technical specifications and documentation and coordination, with project management to follow. Bid documents have been prepared and are awaiting approval from the City of Pasadena – Historic Preservation Department.”

Pasadena Heritage also urged the City Council to approve the loan.

“Pasadena Heritage urges the City of Pasadena approve the loan to fund the restoration work proposed by PCOC for the historic Civic Auditorium,” wrote Sue Mossman, executive director of Pasadena Heritage in a letter to the council. This work delayed by the pandemic should be undertaken as soon as possible so as to avoid more serious damage.” 

The Civic Auditorium turns 91 years old in 2023 and needs many upgrades, PCOC officials have said. The item was approved by PCOC Board on June 16.

In 1999, the City provided PCOC with a 10-year $1.4 million loan for the renovation of the Conference Center. The loan was paid in full in 2019. Similarly in 2009 and during the construction of the Convention Center, PCOC entered into a $3 million loan agreement with the California Energy Commission to upgrade the HVAC system that allowed the new center to achieve LEED Gold Certification.

Because the project has escalated in cost and the scope has expanded, the PCOC Board is asking for the loan with interest set by the City to fund a major Capital Improvement Project of a historic City asset.

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