Jackhammers, clanging of metal and constant pounding are a dead giveaway something big is happening behind a 5-foot barrier in front of a massive structure at the corner of Mission Street and Fair Oaks Avenue in South Pasadena.
No longer is Citizens Business Bank at the intersection, what seemed like an institution, now uprooted and moved to the north at 625 Fair Oaks, a giant banner carrying its name on the large brown building, indicating its new location.
A transformation adaptive re-use project, spearheaded by the Kutzer Company and Dahl Architects, working in tandem with structural engineers Krakower & Associates and the landscape design firm of Lilian Montalvo, will give new life to Mission and Fair Oaks vacated by Citizens, say those behind the effort.
When it’s finished, the multi-tenant building will feature Starbucks, making a move of its own from inside the Wells Fargo structure on Fair Oaks Avenue. A new restaurant, the name yet to be announced, will occupy another space, while other retail is planned for what Pete Kutzer and Steve Dahl, both longtime South Pasadena residents, are calling it Fairoaks@Mission.
Landscaped dining patios, a new entrance on the Fair Oaks side, clear glass facades and exterior green walls are just some of the features at the site. Pedestrian-friendly, an open and inviting atmosphere along with plenty of outdoor seating will all be integrated into the plan.
Bike-friendly, there will be ample room for two-wheelers and a self-service repair station should be a pleasing amenity for cyclists.
The new construction project, across the street from the iconic Fair Oaks Pharmacy, will also be eco-friendly, designed to encourage people to get out of their cars. Environmentally-friendly landscaping, using drought-tolerant plants, is also part of it, including a living “green wall” facing the street.
Once completed, the Kutzer Company looks to transform the gateway to Mission Street without a big, disruptive project built over many years. It will replace the aging 1974 bank building and give new life and vitality, connecting retail, pedestrian and cyclist activity from Fair Oaks, around the corner to Fair Oaks to neighboring businesses.