Second Proposed Sale of SPUSD Headquarters Fizzles

A recent agreement that called for the South Pasadena Unified School District to sell its main offices on El Centro Street has fallen through, once again leaving district officials looking for a buyer for the historic property.
Summitrose Investments, a West Hollywood-based firm, will not acquire the property for $13 million as previously agreed upon. The agreement was in the due diligence phase after the SPUSD Board of Education unanimously approved entering into the deal on Nov. 9. The agreement fell through on Nov. 23, according to the district.
It was unclear as of the Review’s press deadline what prompted the change of heart.

The district must sell this property, located at 1020 El Centro St., to trigger its deal to purchase a new location, at 1100 El Centro St., for its main offices. The newer and larger building would better accommodate the district’s operational footprint and technological needs.
By contrast, the current offices, which are listed as a historic landmark, are considered widely outdated for contemporary use and likely need around $6 million in renovation or restoration.
This is unfortunately the second purchase agreement that fell through for the district this year. A development LLC, under the name School House, offered to buy the lot in July for $14.5 million and had even mocked up renderings of a multi-use plan that would have included condominiums, a marketplace and a boutique hotel.
A land-swap agreement that was considered in the past also failed to materialize.
The city considers redevelopment of the land and preservation of the office as instrumental in its Mission Street Specific Plan, an effort to revitalize the commercial corridor through the downtown area.
The school board met in closed session last week to discuss sale of the property but did not make any decisions.