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Developers to Present Plans for YWCA Building in Virtual Meeting

Affordable housing element not included in every proposal

Published on Wednesday, September 16, 2020 | 5:19 am

Developers will present their proposals for development of the site of a former Water and Power building and the historic YWCA Julia Morgan building in a virtual meeting at  3 p.m. on Sept. 22.

But due to new state laws that changed the process, not every proposal includes an affordable housing element, despite requests by elected officials and local activists.

“As a result of the City’s 2019 RFP process and the 2020 supplemental NOA process to comply with updated State regulations,” the city said in a released statement. “Pasadena currently has three affordable housing proposals for the Ramona Street lot, and two development proposals for the renovation of the YWCA building block.”

The Affordable housing developers and their proposals include:

  •  Abode Communities, which is proposing 103 dwelling units for families in a 5-level building which may include subterranean parking.

  •  National Community Renaissance of California, is proposing either a 94-unit family project or a 112-unit senior housing project in a 5-level building, with 94 on-site parking spaces for the family project and 50 on-site parking spaces for the senior project.

  • BRIDGE Housing, which is proposing to construct a 72-unit affordable housing project for seniors with approximately 39 spaces on site in a 4-level building on the Ramona Street lot.

The two remaining developers which are seeking to renovate the YWCA building and make improvements to the block are:

During the September 22 virtual meeting, each developer will have about 15 minutes to present their proposals, and the public will have an opportunity to submit questions for the developers to answer.

In June, 2019, the City issued a Request for Proposal (RFP) for the rehabilitation and adaptive reuse of the former YWCA building, located at 78 North Marengo Avenue. As the City was proceeding with the RFP, a state law related to affordable housing changed in January 2020 and compelled Pasadena to pause the RFP process. Despite Pasadena’s pursuit of affordable housing as part of the Civic Center development, the new State law required the City to issue a Notice of Availability (NOA) to a broader set of affordable housing developers.

Prior to that, the City Council instructed City Manager Steve Mermell that finalists’  proposals would have to include an affordable housing element to their proposals.

The city is in the middle of an affordable housing crisis and rents across the region continue to skyrocket. Some apartments in Pasadena are now renting for more than $3,000 per month.

The meeting can be viewed at

Or Telephone:

US: +1 669 900 6833 or +1 346 248 7799

Webinar ID: 814 0819 6059

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