Pasadena Y Reopening as Hotel : Housing: Centennial Place will serve low-income people. An agency is hunting for ex-tenants who were displaced by the project.


The old downtown YMCA on Holly Street should be opening by Christmas in its reincarnation as Centennial Place, a 142-room, low-income hotel.

The opening comes as the Los Angeles Community Design Center, one of the agencies involved in the building’s rehabilitation, is trying for a third time to find former YMCA residents entitled to up to $4,275 each in relocation assistance.

“Some of them we only know because their name is on the rent roll, but we have no idea where they are,” said Ann Sewill, executive director of the Design Center.

State housing officials determined the Design Center should provide assistance beginning in February, 1988, to YMCA tenants displaced by the project.


But Sewill said YMCA tenant records were incomplete. The center estimated that it would find only about 20 of 100 former tenants. Instead, more tenants whose names were not on the rolls have since appeared with rent receipts.

So far, the Design Center has paid $384,000 in relocation assistance to 80 former tenants. Another 20 are slated to receive assistance when the center receives a state loan of $250,000.

Another 70 people will be contacted to determine if they also are eligible, Sewill said. Five applicants were turned down by the center, and one of them has appealed to the state.

Meanwhile, 13 former tenants relocated temporarily to Pasadena Manor, a board-and-care home, will return in December. Centennial Place will officially open in January and accept new low-income tenants, including women, Sewill said. The $12.4-million project to convert the old YMCA to low-income housing is a project of the center and the Pasadena Housing Alliance, a nonprofit group composed of All Saints Episcopal Church, Pasadena Presbyterian Church, St. Andrew’s Catholic Church and Union Station.


Nearly $6 million in city money went toward the project; the rest is in state loans and tax credits.