As major development project proposed at the corner of Mission Street and Fair Oaks Avenue in South Pasadena begins to unfold, Citizens Business Bank, currently occupying the site, will soon be relocating north to a new location in the city.
As the Kutzer Company, owned by South Pasadenan Pete Kutzer, looks to construct his vision for the major corner, Citizens Business Bank will move north to 625 Fair Oaks Avenue, suite 190, in November.
“Kutzer will redevelop it,” explained John Vandercook, secretary on the board of the South Pasadena Chamber of Commerce, of the key intersection “and keep the footprint the same, but basically do esthetic improvements to the façade and break up the interior because it’s so large.”
Citizens Business Bank plans to move on November 8, according to Vandercook, and reopen at its new location November 12.
“Once all that happens, we’ll begin to see the construction and redevelopment take place for the new tenants on that property,” explained the chamber board member. “He’s got three or four tenants coming in. We don’t know who they are. It’s really going to make it nice and plus up the outside.”
Not only is Vandercook a local Chamber board member but his business, Reimagine Your Home, a floor and wall covering business, sits across the street from the bank on Mission Street.
“It’s going to create a very successful business gateway to the Fair Oaks-Mission Street area,” he said of the new development plans at Mission and Fair Oaks. “It’s going to be great.”
Other Moves in Town
In addition to the Citizens Business Bank heading to a new location, Vandercook said Mamma’s Brick Oven Pizza and Pasta will be soon be moving from its current location at 710 Fair Oaks Avenue to a much larger site a short distance south at 1007 Fair Oaks Avenue. The pizza store’s current location remains open until the scheduled move.
Work has started on the much-delayed Twohey’s restaurant, which closed its eatery in Alhambra to make South Pasadena its home.
“They’ve delayed their opening for over a year now,” said Vandercook. “The encouraging thing is people are working there again and there’s a sign out: ‘Now Hiring.’ So, that looks to be opening soon.”
Vandercook said he’s pleased that Ace Hardware, taking over for OSH after it’s closure earlier this year, “is doing well.” A grand opening at ACE is slated for August 30.
“The cool thing about that, other than cutting a ribbon, they’re going to have a chainsaw and cut a piece a wood,” he said, followed by a laugh.
Future Development in City
The city continues to look at future development. Vandercook said the Mission Bell Project at the corner of Fairview Avenue and Mission Street seems to be on the front burner as it goes through the environmental impact report process as roughly 35 units are projected at the site.
“I think initially, they will be leased but later will be converted into sale units,” he said. “It’s a very nice design with a center courtyard. It will be very (environmentally) green, with water recapturing tanks in the underground garage area. They will recycle all the water and use it to water all the greenery on the property, which will be great.”
Vandercook said there’s nothing new with a proposed development behind 625 Fair Oaks Avenue, with the potential for a new restaurant at the location. The back parking lot has been targeted as another site for residential units in the city.
“There are a number of projects that are in the works but not moving, based upon the fact that the city’s new General Plan has got to be ratified and approved,” Vandercook said. “All these development plans have to coincide in approval with the new General Plan.”
He said the South Pasadena City Council could review the new General Plan as soon as October.
Vandercook said the Carrows property at the corner of Fremont Avenue and Mission Street is another residential/retail project, featuring a courtyard and fountain, the City Council and Chamber of Commerce are addressing. The developer “has made a presentation to the chamber and it looks very nice,” he said, noting, “It is a ways away before we see any movement on that one.”
Still in talks are a tear down of the Pavilions on Fair Oaks Avenue and Monterey Road, and a complete rebuild with parking in the back of the supermarket
“It kind of went off line for awhile, but now it’s back online,” said Vandercook. “So yes, they’re moving ahead on that project.”
The City of South Pasadena and local school district continue to explore readapting the use of the South Pasadena Unified School District parking lot as part of the city’s Mission Street Specific Plan. City officials would like to some day see a gap between Diamond Avenue and Fairview Avenue, where a wall front’s the district’s parking lot, possibly become retail. The stretch of land is known as the “missing tooth” along busy Mission Street.
“There’s a lot going on, and we’re excited,” said Vandercook, explaining there’s a revived interest for developers to launch new projects in town. “Now that the 710 Freeway project is dead, there’s no more a risk from developers where properties could have been be impacted in the past,” he said. “So, it’s a much better situation for outside developers to be looking at opportunities for smaller projects in South Pasadena.”