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Developer Says Civic Center Housing Project Will be Compatible with District

Project could include 112 apartments for low-income seniors

Published on Thursday, October 22, 2020 | 2:15 pm
Under the now-approved plan, the city will work with National Community Renaissance of California to develop the affordable housing at this city-owned 280 N. Ramona St., a vacant lot that was once considered for a Water and Power Department building. (Image courtesy Google)

In a statement released Thursday, a developer negotiating with the city to build an affordable housing project in the city’s Civic Center said the project will be compatible with the historic district.

The City Council on Monday unanimously approved a motion allowing the city to begin negotiations with National CORE for the development of a senior affordable housing project on a city-owned parcel across the street from City Hall.

The proposed development will provide 112 apartment homes for low-income seniors with an average affordability of 50 percent of the area median income, with 10 percent of the apartment homes set-aside for permanent supportive housing.

“We are honored to have been chosen to work alongside the city of Pasadena to provide an affordable housing community that complements the beautiful historic Civic Center District,” said National Community Renaissance (CORE) President and CEO Steve PonTell in a prepared statement.

“At National CORE, we have a long history of creating high-quality, healthy, equitable communities that offer accessibility, affordability, stability, diversity, and safety.”

The site at 280 N. Ramona St. is one of two coveted spots near City Hall that has been much-discussed in terms of development. The other site is the Julia Morgan YWCA building at Holly Street and North Marengo Avenue. So far, the council has not voted to allow the city to enter into negotiations with a developer for the YWCA site.

“National CORE has proven to be a highly-skilled, mission-driven developer with one award-winning community in Pasadena,” said Director of Housing William K. Huang in a prepared statement. “We are eager to begin the negotiation process to develop a new community that will provide critically-needed affordable housing for Pasadena low-income seniors.”

With 10 percent of the apartment homes set aside for formerly homeless seniors, National CORE, in partnership with Union Station Homeless Services, will provide the platform for formerly homeless seniors to begin the process of rebuilding their lives. With the programs and services provided by Union Station, residents will have a support system as well as access to programs and services to promote housing stability and individual well-being.

“With almost 510 years of experience working with seniors within our adult programs, Union Station Homeless Services is excited to partner with National CORE on a permanent supportive housing community dedicated to serving the unique needs of seniors, one of our fastest-growing homeless populations,” said Anne Miskey, CEO of Union Station Homeless Services.

“We provide a wide array of supportive services to individuals and families throughout the San Gabriel Valley, including the residents living at Marv’s Place, a community for formerly homeless families in Pasadena owned and managed by National CORE.”

Over the next couple of months, National CORE and the city will conduct negotiations over a disposition and development agreement. The final agreement is expected for City Council approval in early 2021, which will allow National CORE to secure other competitive financing and obtain important city approvals.

Subject to awards for financing and completion of a city design review, community engagement, and entitlement processes, construction could begin as early as 2022 and completed by 2024.

For more information about National CORE’s proposed affordable housing community in the historic Civic Center District, please visit,

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