In the wake of the long-seated Downtown Revitalization Project losing its momentum, Citizens Business Bank appears to be taking steps to develop its own property at the corner of Fair Oaks Avenue and Mission Street in the city.
South Pasadena City Manager Sergio Gonzalez said the bank is “very committed” to improving the bank site. “We’ve had an informal meeting and found out that they plan on making the building a multi-tenant site, where the bank would remain in a smaller footprint and be located next to an additional business, a possible restaurant,” he explained. “I think everyone would agree, the bank is too large for the amount of foot traffic it receives. They know that and are looking to improve their facility with the potential to partner with the city on a public plaza since the city owns a twenty-foot lane that runs across a portion of the banks’ parking lot.
“We could also look at outdoor dining. The plans are very preliminary, but I know that Citizens Business Bank understands how important their role is in revitalizing the downtown area and how key their property is to that effort.” Gonzalez stressed that it would be a private development, but the project lends itself to partnership with the city. “It’s not the Downtown Revitalization Project that we originally envisioned, but it’s something that will make that corner a lot more viable,” he said. “In the plaza area, we’re talking about a place where people can congregate, listen to music outdoors, attend events, relax and have coffee. It would be an area where people can feel connected to the community and, maybe, synergy can grow from there.”
Earlier this year, an exclusive negotiation agreement ended with the Genton Property Group after the developer couldn’t reach an agreement with the bank. Original plans for the current Mission Oaks parking lot called for small boutiques, restaurants, a town plaza and 60 residential units. The city purchased two key parcels, 1503 and 1507 from the previous developer, which were earmarked for the project. More than 400 parking spaces, including an underground garage, were part of the plans that went belly up.