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Plan for South Pasadena Pulled

May 08, 2003|Tina Daunt | Times Staff Writer

A development company has withdrawn plans to build a large "town square" in downtown South Pasadena, amid concerns from new council members that the project was too grandiose.

Clare De Briere, vice president of the Ratkovich Co., said the group would shelve its exclusive-negotiation agreement with the city's Community Redevelopment Agency, allowing South Pasadena officials to seek other proposals for renovating the area around Fair Oaks Avenue and Mission Street.

"While we remain committed to the concepts embodied in our preliminary plans for the creation of a dynamic downtown area in South Pasadena, recent political changes in the city require a pause in the process," De Briere said in a prepared statement.

The company had proposed building as many as 70 units of housing in buildings as much as three stories high. To create an "urban village," the design also called for sidewalk cafes, fountains, courtyards, stores and businesses.

After three slow-growth council members were elected this year, the company started to rethink its plans.

"We believe that these new municipal leaders should be provided an opportunity to establish their own vision for downtown while reviewing the one we've presented," De Briere said.

Newly elected Councilman David Margrave called the Ratkovich proposal "way too big."

"It's out of scale for the city of South Pasadena," Margrave said. "We are hoping the new CRA comes up with a better plan."

The city hired Ratkovich, a Los Angeles-based design firm, about a year ago to come up with ways to transform South Pasadena's core.

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