Saturday, March 13, 2010

Going Up

Remember this image of an empty lot? What a difference a few months (and, dare I hope for it, a recovering economy) can make! Those in the know tell me this structure on Fremont will have mixed retail space on the bottom floor and residential units above.

The restored/refurbished ComericA bank building will be finished sometime this year -- hopefully with the historic rosettes. South Pasadena's talented Steve Dahl of Dahl Architects dropped me a line letting me know that a new cafe will soon open in the space formerly occupied by Puff across from Busters on Mission. Steve is also working on a 70 seat theater in the old nursery building at Mound and El Centro (recently occupied by Dynasty Iron Doors.) What a perfect choice for the space! I would love to see South Pasadena become a live theatre enclave. Fremont Centre Theatre has already set a gloriously high standard. And, gee, we have a certain magical, multi-use movie palace just waiting for a new life -- and a few savvy investors.

The sound of those power saws and jackhammers is music to my ears. I believe South Pas is much more than just a beautiful bedroom community. Our downtown is special. We have some of the best restaurants in the region. Our galleries challenge, delight and inspire. Our local shops have any number of unique treasures never seen in big box stores. Plus, we're right on the Gold Line.

15 comments:

Leif Hagen said...

Everything seems to be shaping up nicely!

Mister Earl said...

It will be interesting to see how this place does as a residential/ commercial development. There is so much condo/apartment building going on in Pasadena south of Old Town, and a few new places in South Pas that I wonder if the demand is there. Also, there seem to be several existing commercial spaces that are empty with this economy. I hope they finish the bank remodel soon. Maybe the turnaround is right around the corner!

Mister Earl said...

Here's one thing that bothers me: back in the 70s, when we had the gas crisis, it took hours to get gas and people were paying someone to sit in their car to get their tank filled. Every time I see a gas station close I worry about the nightmare that will occur if there's ever another gas crisis. The intersection of Fremont and Mission had three gas stations in the recent past; now it only has one. Several other nearby gas stations have closed. I'm guessing that we have about 1/3 of the gas stations we had in the 80s.

Dixie Jane said...

It's been so long since I have seen a vacant lot, much less a structure, "going up." One is taking shape two doors from me but the former house had to burn down for it to happen.

Growing up, vacant lots were where kids played games. Me included.

Not being familiar with So. Pas' atreets and buildings, I can only hope for a refurbished economy for you who live and love it there.

Kudos to you, Laurie, for your eye-grabbing titles.

Pasadena Adjacent said...

I remember those gas station (and lines) too. I guess you'll just have to pay me more to babysit your steed Mr Earl

really like this photo L.

Laurie said...

I've always thought that Los Angeles in general had fewer gas stations than the amount of cars here would need. Then again, I grew up in Texas where oil was King and there was a service station on every corner.

South Pas has the station on El Centro near Orange Grove, the one on Fair Oaks across from Vons, I think... also the one with the mini mart next to the gallery building that has the painted palm trees, and the one on Fair Oaks with the weird name that starts with a V, near McDonalds. Am I missing any?

Also, does anyone know if that building on Garfield (or maybe it's Los Robles) and Huntington is ever going to be the car wash it started out to be? Construction halted there sometime last year.

Oh, and thanks Mom and PA!

TheChieftess said...

I just drove past this corner the other day and was amazed at how fast this thing went up! It's been fenced for such a long time with nothing happening, Then, awhile ago, I drove by and their were signs of building ready to happen, then it seems like just days but probably was weeks, and now this!!!

Laurie...I think you're the new Ambassador of So Pasadena!!!

Laurie said...

Heh. Ambassador of South Pas. What perks does it come with? ;-)

I can't help getting out my megaphone and pompoms. I love this place.

Mister Earl said...

I think you've mentioned all the gas stations in South Pas, Laurie. We've lost 3 local ones in recent years that I recall: 2 at Fremont and Mission, and there was one at Glenarm and Fairoaks, where Enterprise Car Rental is now.

alex said...

A cafe at the former Puffs location would be superb! I'm no economist, but I've developed a theory that the more cafes that open in a neighborhood, the more they fill up. Hence this urban legend from the Lone Star State: http://www.comedycentral.com/videos/index.jhtml?videoId=41926

I do hope it won't be a Starbucks though:) A theatre at the old nursery sounds particularly intriguing!

Kim said...

Nice to see wood framing still going on. Things look so foreign to me up here where commercial construction seems to utilize steel framing. I'm always thinking of quakes, so maybe SoCal will not adopt the widespread construction materials changes I'm seeing up here. Nice to see guys out working in the sunshine, too!
-Kim

TheChieftess said...

Alex...thank you for the comedy link!!! Very funny!!!

Judy Williams said...

What a great wide angle focus!! I love the mix of all those lines, with the fronds of the palm in the background, and the guy with his electric nailer dark against the lighter wood and blue sky. It's amazing how fast a structure can actually be built. I like the framing stage. You can see through the walls. :)

Petrea said...

Hopefully people will be driving fuel-efficient cars (electric?) and we won't have a gas shortage, when the time comes. They do say we're going to run out, and you know THEM.

But hey, look on the bright side! There'll be plenty of employment. We can all get work as car sitters.

Laurie said...

Thanks, gang!