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La Cañada will pay $48K to attract new tenants to City Hall’s western entrance

La Cañada will pay $48K to attract new tenants to City Hall’s western entrance
Hoping to increase the curb appeal of the west facade of La Cañada's new City Hall building, which will serve as an entrance for a new tenant business, the City Council recently allocated $48,850 for new glass doors, an awning and stairs leading to the entryway. (Sara Cardine)

La Cañada Flintridge has been shopping for roommates lately to occupy 6,575 square feet of leasable space on the first floor of its new City Hall, offering the building’s west facade as an entrance for a tenant business or organization.

But so far, the space’s lack of curb appeal is turning away multiple prospective tenants, who’ve expressed misgivings about access and aesthetics.

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During an April 16 midyear budget review, the La Cañada Flintridge City Council discussed the issue, ultimately allocating $48,850 to reconfigure the facade and improve access to the would-be entrance.

Administrative Director Carl Alameda told the council that representatives from Pasadena-based brokerage firm NAI Capital, Inc. have been showing the space to prospective businesses and are reporting the unfavorable feedback to the city.

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“They’ve shown the building to a number of entities, and they were suggesting some of them may have lost interest potentially because of the way the west entrance, which is their entrance, appears,” he said.

An uninviting set of metal doors on the west side of La Cañada's new City Hall where an entryway for a new first-floor tenant would be. Potential renters have balked at the lack of curb appeal and access, prompting the City Council to commit $48,850 in improvements.
An uninviting set of metal doors on the west side of La Cañada's new City Hall where an entryway for a new first-floor tenant would be. Potential renters have balked at the lack of curb appeal and access, prompting the City Council to commit $48,850 in improvements. (Photo by Sara Cardine)

Councilwoman Terry Walker and Mayor Pro Tem Greg Brown asked whether such improvements might be included in a new tenant’s lease agreement, so adjustments could be tailored to the occupant’s use and preference.

“I would think you’d want the tenant to have some say,” Brown said during the discussion.

Councilmen Mike Davitt and Jon Curtis, who served on a subcommittee convened to oversee the tenant selection process, said if current conditions are turning tenants away, it might be prudent to at least allocate funds for the work to be completed separately from a lease.

“You might as well just get it done, because a tenant is not going to see it as a tenant improvement,” said Davitt. “They’re going to expect it’s got to be built as a feature.”

Alameda confirmed Monday a set of stairs will lead visitors from the west side parking lot down to the entrance, where a pair of metal doors will be replaced with more attractive glass doors and covered with a box awning bearing the occupant’s name.

“It just might attract a wider market of tenants,” he said.

The work, however, won’t be completed until a lessee has been identified and can weigh in on the upgrades, Davitt said by email Monday.

“The preference is to wait until the future tenant is identified, so that they can be involved in the character of the improvements to be completed in conjunction with their future build-out,” Davitt said.

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