CalTrans Homes Purchases | Broker Contract Set For Council Approval

“The City intends to move forward with the purchase of the Caltrans surplus properties, both historic and non-historic,” according to the report.

FILE PHOTO: Eric Fabbro | News | City Council meets at City Hall

The City of South Pasadena says it intends to purchase unoccupied properties in town offered to it by Caltrans in the former SR 710 extension corridor.

Formal public acknowledgment of the long-awaited deal came in a staff report for an item published ahead of the City Council’s Nov. 1 meeting, under which it will be asked to approve a  brokerage services contract and to authorize the city manager “to finalize and execute” agreements for up to 18 properties on the list, including six with historic significance.

“The City intends to move forward with the purchase of the Caltrans surplus properties, both historic and non-historic,” according to the report.

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The item appears on the Council’s consent agenda, meaning it will be approved without discussion with other routine items unless a Council Member asks that it be “pulled” for separate consideration.

Under state law, “the historic properties must be resold at fair market value in as-is condition, with the sales proceeds financing the acquisition or production of three affordable units for every one historic property sold,” the staff report explains. “The City intends to comply with this provision by purchasing and reselling all six historic properties.”

The sales will be made to market buyers in cash-only transactions, according to the request for proposals the city released Aug. 31 for brokerage services. Prospective bidders were given access to lengthy inspection reports of the relevant properties completed by Blue Ribbon Property Inspections in late 2022, as well as estimates of rehabilitation costs made at the same time.   

Six bidders responded to the RFP, and staff is recommending the Council approve engaging with Beautiful Pasadena Homes., Inc. of Los Angeles (doing business as The Dave Knight Real Estate Team/Keller Williams DTLA).

The Dave Knight Team “has experience in residential sales in South Pasadena, and in particular the sale of historic properties in the local real estate market, as well as complicated trust and probate sales,” the report states.

Separate contracts will be signed for each property, with a 5 percent commission for each property sold, split equally between the listing and buyers agents.

Because funding for the contracts will come from sales proceeds, there will be no impact on the city’s general fund.


Ben Tansey
Ben Tansey is a journalist and author. He grew up in the South Bay and is a graduate of Evergreen State College. He worked in Washington State as a reporter in a rural timber community and for many years as an editor for a Western electric energy policy publication based in Seattle.