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Old Pasadena Expanding, Consuming Everything in Its Path

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Pasadena's Old Town is getting a northern expansion, thanks to a massive one-million-square-foot mixed-use project slated for an underused site around the large, white Parsons tower off Fair Oaks. The Pasadena Star-News reports that the project will bring new restaurants, office space, and 475 housing units to the 22-acre site; the new development will also have designated parking for Old Town and the nearby Rose Bowl.

The project site is bordered by Fair Oaks to the east, Union Street to the south, Pasadena Avenue on the west, and Walnut Street on the north; the idea is to "complement" the existing, giant Parsons building with new construction, according to a city site for the development. Parsons is like an island in a sea of parking lots right now, and the plan is to build all the new retail, office space, and housing on that vast expanse of asphalt. New parking will be provided in a multi-level parking garage underground, which will have "a minimum of 3,322 parking spaces." That would be extra helpful on game days and in the event that the Rose Bowl gets its own Coachella-y music festival.

Nicknamed 100 West Walnut, the development is supposed to bring "2,100 new jobs, $1 million a year in general fund revenue, $15 million in transportation improvements and $250 million in wages," says a rep for developer Lincoln Property Company. Building up the site will also plug a development and street-activity hole in Fair Oaks between Old Town and the other side of the 210 Freeway. As it stands, north of the Container Store there's only a hotel, a gas station, and what feels like an eternity of parking-lot-adjacent sidewalk. (The 15,000 square feet of retail in 100 West Walnut will be on the Fair Oaks side of the project.)

100 West Walnut has been redesigned since the public saw it last; previous designs were too closed-off for Pasadenans, who want to make sure the new development integrates well with what's already there. The project still has to go through Pasadena's design committee, but, if approved, construction could start by mid-2016 and be complete a year and a half after that.

· Council backs development that expands Old Pasadena [PSN]
· 100 West Walnut[Official site]