The country’s fourth largest hotel owner-operator has opened the historic, 161-room Pasadena Hotel & Pool near Colorado Boulevard and Lake Avenue following an extensive restoration of the hotel property’s public spaces. It is the company’s second hotel in California.
MCR purchased Hotel Constance in February 2022. The hotel had been closed since March 2020 and was acquired following a bankruptcy sale at a 50% discount to the seller’s basis and estimated replacement cost. MCR closed the purchase, which included an adjacent office building, in 30 days and subsequently invested $4 million of incremental capital in renovations and building system upgrades.
The guest rooms, which had been renovated by the prior owner, benefit from above-average square footage. Other hotel features include 11 indoor and outdoor event spaces and a 24-hour fitness center. The hotel’s Presidential Suite offers a 1,000-square-foot terrace with prime views of Colorado Boulevard and the Tournament of Roses parade.
Built in 1926, the hotel encompasses a full city block in Pasadena and includes space for parking, offices and retail. The hotel is steps from the shopping and dining along South Lake Avenue.
The hotel originally opened with 164 guest rooms in December 1929. At that time, there were 18 hotels in the city. After its heyday at the end of the roaring twenties, the hotel became office space and ultimately, for decades, an assisted living facility.
The Pasadena-based Singpoli company purchased the hotel in 2004 and it reopened after renovating it to the tune of tens of millions of dollars in 2014 as the Hotel Constance.
In 2020 the hotel claimed on its website it was the #1 boutique hotel in Pasadena.
After a pool was built atop the building directly west of the hotel, the spot briefly became popular with local nonprofits as a venue for plein air fundraisers and galas.
In March, MCR Hotels declined to comment to Pasadena Now over a report that it had acquired the hotel 161-room and an adjacent building at 880 E. Colorado Blvd. for over $50.3 million.
In June 2021, Acting General Manager William Chu — who was also the finance chief of Singpoli, the Hong Kong real estate investment firm that owned the DusitD2 Constance Pasadena — said the building was in foreclosure and the hotel in Chapter 11 but that further legal action had been stayed by the court until the property was sold.
The company brought in Hong Kong interior designer Joey Ho, who created what the LA Times called “a playfully futuristic-looking bar” that served cocktails “where generations of retirees once dined.”
Ho’s vision for an upscale restaurant in the hotel languished. Completion of the hotel complex was fitful.
Neither the bar nor the restaurant, which was never fully completed, seemed to catch on with locals.
Also minutes from the hotel are major cultural attractions such as the Rose Bowl, Pasadena Playhouse, Norton Simon Museum, Caltech, Huntington Library, Art Museum and Botanical Gardens and the Jet Propulsion Lab (“JPL”). NASA’s only federally funded research and development center, JPL is a leader in robotic space exploration, building rovers to explore Mars and unmanned probes to survey the outer edges of the solar system. The facility is managed by nearby Caltech and offers free tours to the public.