Negotiations on YWCA proposals on agenda
Although the City Council is not scheduled to meet in open session on Monday, there will be a packed closed session meeting starting at 2 p.m which includes property negotiations on a Summitt property, negotiations with two Pasadena Fire Department unions, potential litigation and price and payment negotiations related to the YWCA and the Tournament of Roses regarding the Rose Parade and the Rose Bowl Game.
Steve Mermell will discuss price and terms of payment with Tournament of Roses CEO David Eads.
The Rose Bowl Stadium, the Tournament House, Rosemont Pavilion and Jackie Robinson Stadium, as well as “other public property licensed for New Years Day related activity including without limitation staging the Rose Parade, Post Parade, grandstand areas and· formation areas” are listed on the closed session agenda.
According to the Brown Act, the state law that mandates open public meetings, the city must report any action taken in closed session.
Reporting out may be deferred under certain circumstances, including lawsuit settlements, usually because it is contingent upon approval by another party.
Mermell is scheduled to meet with five developers interested in the historic YWCA building and the vacant lot on Ramona Street.
Steve Mermell is scheduled to discuss price and terms of payments with Abode Communities; National Community Renaissance of California; HRI Properties, LLC with Bridge Housing Corporation; and Edgewood Realty Partners, LLC with Abode Communities.
The Affordable housing developers and their proposals include:
- Abode Communities, which is proposing 103 dwelling units for families in a 5-level building which may include subterranean parking.
- National Community Renaissance of California, is proposing either a 94-unit family project or a 112-unit senior housing project in a 5-level building, with 94 on-site parking spaces for the family project and 50 on-site parking spaces for the senior project.
- BRIDGE Housing, which is proposing to construct a 72-unit affordable housing project for seniors with approximately 39 spaces on site in a 4-level building on the Ramona Street lot.
The two remaining developers which are seeking to renovate the YWCA building and make improvements to the block are:
- HRI Properties, LLC of New Orleans, LA, whose plans are to restore the former YWCA building into a 179-room historic hotel.
- Edgewood Realty Partners, LLC of South Pasadena, CA, whose plans are to restore the YWCA building into a 164-room hotel operated by Palisociety.
During the September 22 virtual meeting, the developers made 15 minutes presentations on their proposals, and answered questions.
Last week the City Council declared the land surplus property, asserting that it is necessary for the agency’s use. The declaration allows the city to sell or lease the property,
In June, 2019, the City issued a Request for Proposal (RFP) for the rehabilitation and adaptive reuse of the former YWCA building, located at 78 North Marengo Avenue. As the City was proceeding with the RFP, a state law related to affordable housing changed in January 2020 and compelled Pasadena to pause the RFP process. Despite Pasadena’s pursuit of affordable housing as part of the Civic Center development, the new State law required the City to issue a Notice of Availability (NOA) to a broader set of affordable housing developers.
Prior to that, the City Council instructed City Manager Steve Mermell that finalists’ proposals would have to include an affordable housing element to their proposals.
The city is in the middle of an affordable housing crisis and rents across the region continue to skyrocket. Some apartments in Pasadena are now renting for more than $3,000 per month.