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YWCA Building Proposals to Come Before Council in March

Negotiations ongoing according to one city official

Published on Monday, February 17, 2020 | 5:41 am
The now-dilapidated Julia Morgan-designed Pasadena YWCA building. Picture courtesy City of Pasadena

The YWCA building is not scheduled to be discussed at the Feb. 24 City Council meeting, according to a city official.

“YWCA won’t be on the agenda until March,” said Lisa Derderian, city spokesperson. “Negotiations are continuing.”

Five developers have proposed projects to redevelop the rundown Julia Morgan-designed YWCA and a former Pasadena Water and Power site near City Hall.

Last month City Manager Steve Mermell had said the project would come back to the City Council in February after he announced that the council made it clear that it wishes to see some form of affordable housing as part of any development. The council asked city staff to return with an analysis of the impact that may have on the price.

City officials and City Council members have assured the public there will be an opportunity for community engagement on the proposals.

Current proposals include a 125-150 full-service Four Seasons hotel at the YWCA site along with 25 luxury residences at the former Water and Power site by Carpenter and Company of Boston.

Got Used Oil
The two Civic Center properties are in the same block of Holly Street, directly west of Pasadena City Hall. Photograph courtesy City of Pasadena

Continental Assets Management in Arcadia proposed a four-star 167 hotel room, either a five-story 120 room market-rate unit building or a six-story 139 affordable housing unit is proposed at the Water and Power site.

A proposal by Edgewood Realty Partners from nearby South Pasadena would see a 164-room boutique hotel operated by Palisociety and a 70,000 square foot, five-story office building is proposed for the Water and Power site.

New Orleans-based HRI Properties LLC would create a 179-room hotel, of which 165 rooms would be in a new 83,000-square-foot building adjacent to the YWCA. Their proposal didn’t specify what the Water & Power site would be used for.

The Ratkovich Company with the National Community Renaissance in Los Angeles is proposing two alternatives.

The first would call for rehabbing the building for office space. The second option calls for the rehabilitation of the building with construction of a new 59,000 square foot office building, or rehabbing the building and building a 142-room hotel.

On the PWP property, permanent supportive housing or permanent supportive housing and 15,000 square feet of leasable office space is proposed by Ratkovich.

The city and the state are struggling with a massive affordable housing crisis due to skyrocketing real estate costs.

Pasadena’s 2018 homeless count revealed there were 542 people experiencing homelessness in Pasadena, down from 677 in 2018.

The 2019 homeless census is the second-lowest in Pasadena since the count began in 1992. The lowest numbers were recorded in 2016 when 530 homeless people were counted.

But while Pasadena’s numbers were declining Los Angeles and Los Angeles County’s were increasing.

There are 36,000 homeless people living in Los Angeles and 59,000 in the county, according to recent statistics. Fifty-three percent of the people experiencing homelessness for the first time cited “economic hardship” as a leading factor.

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