PASADENA — The Board of City Directors voted Monday to begin exclusive negotiations with Pasadena Commercial Redevelopment Co. to revitalize an abandoned shopping center in the city's troubled northwest section.
The board chose the company, a partnership of Watt Commercial Properties and developers Danny Bakewell and Lonnie Bunkley, despite objections from nearby business owners who favored a plan submitted by Walter Sterns, who owns half the property, and Dennis Gertmenian. The remaining half of the 5.4-acre site is owned by the city.
Developers Gertmenian and Sterns submitted a $4.1-million plan that proposed relocating Ready Pac Produce and Pasadena Produce onto the site, a move they said would provide an estimated 500 jobs. Douglas Kosobayashi, speaking on behalf of Pasadena Works West, an organization of 33 businesses in the northwest area, said Monday that his group supported the plan because "it's important that we see (that) people in the northwest area have greater opportunity for jobs."
The board voted against the Gertmenian-Sterns plan on the recommendation of city staff, who said the proposal violated zoning and redevelopment regulations and that the developers' projected costs and employment figures may not be accurate.