Pasadena approves Kimpton Hotel Project

Pasadena approves Kimpton Hotel Project

The Pasadena City Council voted unanimously to approve the Kimpton Hotel project at 78 North Marengo Avenue after a heated public hearing that lasted more than two hours.

“Where’s his facts? Where’s his facts?” Pasadena resident David Whitehead shouted while Richard A. McDonald defended the project on behalf of Kimpton Hotels. McDonald explained that the hotel’s ambitions were within the scope of older City Council decisions, and represented a step forward for Pasadena.

The hotel, which would occupy the historic YWCA building designed by Julia Morgan, has become a contentious topic in Pasadena as nearly 4,000 square feet of public space would be deeded to the developer.

Members of the City Council, particularly Mayor Terry Tornek, argued that occupancy tax generated by the Kimptons 179 rooms would be an important source of revenue for the city. Councilman Steve Madison termed the potential revenue “steroids for a city”. Many public speakers gave their support to an alternative design (“E”) which featured a setback minimizing loss of public land.

Every member of the City Council supported the project, with some suggesting further advantages. Councilman Tyron Hampton said that the variances in parking the city offered the hotel could be construed as assistance, meaning that the city could mandate the hiring of local workers for the nearly 250 jobs that would be created by the project. Although no clear answer was achieved on this matter, he was still optimistic about the hotel’s prospects in Pasadena.

“It’s gonna bring positive energy,” he said after the meeting.

This story has been corrected to reflect the proper spelling of Councilman Steve Madison’s name. His name is not “Steve Madden”.

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