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Old Town Project Wins ‘Concept Approval’

Times Staff Writer

The One Colorado Boulevard project, considered the cornerstone to the revitalization of Old Pasadena, has won concept approval from the city’s Community Development Committee.

The project, encompassing a block of 16 historic buildings on the corner of Fair Oaks Avenue and Colorado Boulevard, has been delayed for six years as a series of developers have tried to win the financing, city approvals and community support to build the project.

The plan was approved Thursday night by unanimous vote, but the commission imposed conditions that the developer continue refining the design to lessen its impact on the historic buildings and provide assurances that the development of the property will not jeopardize the site’s status on the National Register of Historic Places.

The committee, which still has to give final approval to the project, is responsible for reviewing projects in a redevelopment area.

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The project is scheduled to be reviewed by the Design Commission and the Board of Directors. The Design Commission reviewed the project Monday but delayed a decision until June 26.

Developer Douglas L. Stitzel said his new design for the project is more sensitive to the history and architecture of the block than previous proposals.

Stitzel’s design abandons the previous proposals of turning the block of buildings into a modern shopping mall by boring an atrium walkway through the buildings. Most of the exterior facades would be restored.

Despite Stitzel’s design changes, historical preservationists have criticized the plan as still too damaging to the buildings because it would require demolishing many interior floors, re-grading an alley behind the project and changing the facades facing the alley--all historically important features, they say.

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