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Pasadena Church’s Nonprofit to Buy Caltrans-Owned South Pasadena Apartments Following Lawsuit Settlement

Published on Tuesday, October 24, 2023 | 5:58 am

A longstanding legal dispute has been resolved, paving the way for a Pasadena church’s nonprofit development corporation to acquire a South Pasadena apartment complex previously owned by Caltrans. The property, located at 626 Prospect Ave., was originally intended for a 710 Freeway extension that was ultimately cancelled.

The Friendship Baptist Community Development Corporation, the development arm of Friendship Baptist Church in Old Pasadena, plans to renovate the units and offer them as affordable housing.

This move is expected to significantly increase affordable housing stock in South Pasadena.

South Pasadena announced its withdrawal from the two-year court battle on Oct. 19, marking the end of the lawsuit with Caltrans and the church’s nonprofit.

The recent mediation clears the way for the church’s development corporation to rehabilitate the existing multi-family property for affordable housing.

“We welcome Friendship Baptist Community Development Corporation, and look forward to their significant investment in the property,” said Mayor Jon Primuth. “They have a well-rounded team of professionals, and we are pleased to work with them and lend the City’s support as they embark on this major renovation project for existing and future tenants to enjoy.”

Caltrans seized the properties in Pasadena, South Pasadena and El Sereno more than 60 years ago to make way for a now defunct freeway extension. Under the Roberti Act, public housing-related entities (HREs) have priority over private HREs.

“City leadership is committed to increasing affordable housing opportunities in South Pasadena,” said Mayor Jon Primuth. “With this litigation behind us, we will continue our efforts to address our local housing needs, including the opportunities that lie within the Caltrans properties in South Pasadena.”

The property comprises two buildings with 12 apartments, three of which are reportedly currently occupied. The remaining nine units, some with windows boarded up with plywood, are vacant.

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