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Retro Mixed-Users Might Just Liven Up Pas Playhouse District

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Pasadena's somewhat sleepy Playhouse District might just be on its way toward a more pedestrian-friendly future with two new projects now in early construction. Behind Vroman's Bookstore, the $50-million mixed-use Union Village development will be designed to resemble the Spanish Revival playhouse that the neighborhood gets its name from and house a mix of two-story townhouses and 118 apartments in mini-towers up to six stories, with plenty of retail and, of course, parking. It's set to open in January 2016, the LA Times reports. Even with all the deference to cars, the goal is to make the area a pedestrian destination from places like Old Town.

Meanwhile, a block down El Molino, architects Moule & Polyzoides and Gensler are teaming on a five-story office tower, at Colorado, that will have a classic Art Deco look, like LA's Bullocks Wilshire/Southwestern Law School building, and blend in with the neighborhood's early Twentieth-Century design. Called Playhouse Plaza, the building will be covered in terra cotta and tarnished green copper, and fitted with balconies to provide viewing for the Rose Bowl Parade. When finished in a year, the $75-million building will feature retail at ground level and a whopping 367 subterranean parking spaces (the Gold Line is a 15-minute walk).
· Office tower, apartment complex being built near Pasadena Playhouse [LA Times]
· Moule & Polyzoides's New Designs For Pas's Playhouse Plaza [Curbed LA]