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'Transit Village' Going Up Near Rail Stop in S. Pasadena

Complex, which will include townhouses and stores, is one of several developments being built along region's train routes.

February 21, 2003|Roger Vincent | Times Staff Writer

Construction is underway on a "transit village" of Craftsman-style townhouses and stores next to the new Gold Line rail stop in South Pasadena.

Mission Meridian Village, as the complex will be known, is one of several mixed-use real estate developments springing up along Los Angeles-area passenger train routes that are being encouraged by publicly funded programs.

The 212,000-square-foot complex at Mission Street and Meridian Avenue will include 14 artist lofts, 50 Craftsman-style townhouses and three single-family homes. It will include 324 underground parking spaces, half of which will be set aside for commuters, along with retail space for a restaurant and small grocery store.

"We're trying to minimize car trips and persuade people to use light rail to get to work," said developer Michael Dieden, who also plans to include a bicycle storage and repair shop where commuters can park their two-wheeled rides.

The $22-million cost of Mission Meridian Village includes $5 million in public funding: a $2.5-million grant from the Metropolitan Transit Agency for developments that relieve traffic, $1.5 million from the state to pay for public parking for the nearby train station, a $500,000 grant from South Pasadena and another $500,000 grant from the state to pay for putting utility lines underground.

Dieden's Beverly Hills-based Creative Housing Associates and New York-based Lambert Development Co. are contributing $500,000. Other financing is being provided by Wells Fargo Bank in partnership with CalPERS.

Prices for the residences will range from $300,000 to $800,000 when the project is completed in spring 2004.

The 14-mile Gold Line connecting Pasadena and Los Angeles is scheduled to open in July. Other transit-oriented developments along its route include Central Park Market, a 347-unit apartment, retail and parking complex at the Del Mar station in Pasadena, scheduled for completion early next year.

That 484,458-square-foot project being developed on 4.2 acres by Los Angeles-based Urban Partners will straddle the train tracks south of Old Pasadena and include 1,200 underground parking spaces. It also will preserve and reuse the historic Pasadena railroad station on Raymond Avenue as retail and restaurant space. The South Pasadena and Del Mar developments were designed by Pasadena architecture firm Moule & Polyzoides.

Holly Street Village, a 374-unit Old Pasadena apartment complex, was built in 1994 in expectation that a train station would be located nearby.

Other mixed-use projects may be built along the Gold Line near the Sierra Madre and Chinatown stations.

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