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Design Commission to Hear New Project That Would Demolish 3 Buildings on Walnut Street

Published on Tuesday, January 24, 2023 | 6:03 am

Pasadena’s Design Commission will hear Tuesday an application for Concept Design Review covering a proposal to demolish three non-historic commercial buildings at 1501-1525 E. Walnut Street in Pasadena, and build a new 46,300-square-foot, four-story, 83-unit single-room occupancy building with one caretaker’s unit and surface parking.

These commercial buildings are just south of the 210 Freeway.

Thirty of the apartments in the planned building are proposed to be set aside for rent by very low-income and medium-income households, according to plans submitted by the applicant, 1501 Walnut, LLC, managed by Tajen Lee. 

The inclusion of below market-rate units would allow the project to exceed the site’s by-right allowable density of 60 units.

Pasadena-based Tyler + Kelly Architecture is designing the proposed apartment complex. The plans show the new complex would be clad in a combination of stucco, aluminum and stone. The project will feature on-site amenities such as a dog run, a swimming pool, and a barbeque area.

In the plan, the architects said the properties around the project are mostly one-story automotive businesses. There is a multi-family property on the corner of Walnut Street and Sierra Bonita Avenue that is four stories. The proposed project would be four-stories and 45 feet tall, not including appurtenances.

“While this would be one of the taller properties on the block, it is in accordance with the City’s vision for a taller blockface along a major arterial road,” the statement by Tyler + Kelly said. “Many of the surrounding properties are one-story automotive commercial (tire store, auto collision repair, car wash, etc.) that have strong potential of being replaced.”

The Planning Department is recommending approval of the application for Concept Design Review “subject to conditions to be further reviewed by the Design Commission during Final Design Review.”

Meetings of the Design Commission are held in person at the City Council Chamber, Room S249 at City Hall. Tuesday’s meeting begins at 6:30 p.m.

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