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San Gabriel Valley Digest

South Pasadena : Developers Consider Selling

June 29, 1989

The developer of a proposed $5-million office and retail project on Huntington Drive says she and her partners are considering selling the property after the City Council rejected the project last week.

"We did everything they asked, and they turned me down anyway," said a frustrated Lisa Yang, a partner in the Huntington Plaza Partnership, which proposed a three-story, 45-foot-high building on the corner of Fremont Avenue. The proposal called for a row of stores topped by two stories of offices.

But council members, under pressure from residents, said last week that the proposed building did not match its surroundings. "It was out of place in that particular area," said City Manager John Bernardi, after the council voted unanimously against a conditional-use permit for the project. "The building was too big for that corner, not in keeping with architectural guidelines."

Yang, a resident of South Pasadena for 13 years, expressed bafflement at the council's action. "This city has problems," she said. "Revenues are low and they do need development. I don't understand who runs the city."

Council members acknowledged that Huntington Drive is sprinkled with empty commercial space, but they said the developer had never shown that there was a demand for office space. Bernardi noted that several office buildings in the city have stood largely vacant in recent years.

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