Former Pasadena Art Museum Property Gets a New Owner

Noted Burbank-based sound studio buys property for $7.9 million
Published on Oct 21, 2020

The former home of a well-respected effort created to capture and display the range of California’s artistic energy has a new owner.

The Pasadena Museum of California Art building has been sold by Coldwell Banker Commercial, in a transaction valued at $7.9 million.

“I could not be more thrilled with this,” said Realtor Bill Ukropina, who has actually sold the building twice in two years.

The three-story property—built in 2002, at 490 East Union Street in the Playhouse District—operated as a museum until 2019. For many nonprofit organizations in the Pasadena area, it was a “go to” place for benefit events year-round.

The building has .68 acres of land and the entire 2nd floor was used as museum space. There are 35 covered parking spaces plus a private storage space and a beautiful rooftop deck on the third floor.

After the museum closed in 2018, Ukropina first sold the building to a religious philanthropist/investor who planned to create a home for ministers in training. She eventually moved her ministry to Texas, necessitating yet another sale of the building.

When it became available again, buyers showed up quickly but not the right ones, Ukropina said Thursday.

“The 16-foot ceilings, outdoor event space, prime downtown Pasadena location and exceptional acoustics set this building apart in the Southern California market,” Ukropina explained.

And then Burbank-based Spectrasonics, a developer of sample sound libraries, showed up.  Owners Eric Persing and his wife Lorey loved the building right away, said Coldwell Banker associate Kathi Constanzo.

‘They fell in love with the unbelievable acoustics,” said Constanzo. “They came in a few times during the sale process,  and they ran multiple sound tests, and each time they did, their eyes just lit up!”

And as Ukropina noted, he was most excited about the prospect of Spectrasonics bringing “25 to 30 good jobs” to Pasadena.

“This is just great, 100% positive,” he said. “Burbank’s loss is Pasadena’s gain,” he agreed.

Constanzo also noted that the sale was made during the pandemic with all its attendant restrictions—masks, of course, limited visits and no open houses.

“There were severe restrictions on us during the sale, of course, and we really had to think outside the box, and adapt. And we did!” she said.

For additional information, contact Bill Ukropina at (626) 844-2200 |, CalBRE No. 01481673 or Kathi Constanzo at (626) 898-2308 | CalBRE No. 02067397.

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