Entitlement Process Opens with City of South Pas for Reconstruction of Pavillions

After a three-year hiatus, the idea of South Pasadena’s Pavilions market getting a complete facelift is back in the spotlight.

Pavilions officials held a public outreach effort in 2014 as management showed an interest in building a new store at its current location, 1213 Fair Oaks Ave. Negotiations were put on hold when a merger took place a short time later between Vons/Pavilions and Albertsons, the latter ultimately purchasing the grocery chain.

“All their expansion projects were put on hold for a period of time, but the good news is Pavilions is still interested in building a new store,” explained interim city manager Elaine Aguilar. “It still has to go through all the review processes of the city, including getting approved by the Planning Commission before it can move forward.”

Aguilar said preliminary indications are that the plans Pavilions’ officials presented to the community in 2014 would be retained. “They plan to demolish the existing store and construct a brand new Pavilions closer to Fair Oaks Avenue with parking behind it, with some of the parking underground,” said the interim city manager. “In addition to a two-story Pavilions, there will also be additional retail space.”

Aguilar stressed that talks are still in the preliminary stages. “We don’t know when they will be submitting their formal plans to the city, but we don’t anticipate it will be very long.”

The store bills itself as a one-stop place for “the new, the unusual, the best of everything, from the richest peach salsa from a Texas family recipe, to a gold medal beer from San Diego, to heavenly sweet berries from Oregon.”

In the mid-1980s when it opened, Pavilions’ officials said the store was “an idea whose time had come.”

The idea behind Pavilions “is European but the scale is entirely American,” reads a portion of its website. “Where else will you find 40 kinds of cooking oil, fresh sushi bars, 60 microbrews, Starbucks coffee shops, kosher meats, live Maine lobster, mango chutney, and thousands more items to set your imagination racing?”

Shoppers in South Pasadena have welcomed the store enthusiastically. The store is known for its high-end, “fresher, more imaginative shopping experience,” featuring certified Angus beef, artisan breads, organic fruits and vegetables and an eclectic mix of products.

gus beef, artisan breads, organic fruits and vegetables and an eclectic mix of products.

Next door to the north on Fair Oaks sits a Vons store also owned by Albertsons. What happens to that business once the new Pavilions store opens to the public? “There are no plans we are aware of regarding the current Vons store,” said Aguilar.  “The plans that have been presented us preliminarily only pertain to Pavilions. It’s our understanding the current Vons will continue to operate. It’s an ideal situation because Vons can remain while the new Pavilions is under construction.”

As Pavilions officials reach out to the community, Aguilar stressed the importance of residents getting involved by asking questions and seeking out answers. “People should plan on attending the Planning Commission meetings,” she said, noting the City of South Pasadena website can provide the dates of upcoming meetings.

Individuals can also call the city at (626) 403-7212 with questions regarding the status of projects.