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What Should Happen To This Empty Storefront?

You probably drive past this vacant building on El Centro every day. Should the owner lease it? How would you like to see it reopen?

There's a vacant building at 1412/1414 El Centro Street across the street from 's parking lot.

Have you seen it? 

Patch recently featured it in Where in South Pas is Patch?

The building was built in around 1951, and is now owned by AT&T.

Here's some history per South Pas Director of Planning & Building, David Watkins: 

AT&T owns that property, which is located behind its switching facility on Mission Street.

In 2006, AT&T requested a Conditional Use Permit for the expansion of a parking lot that would provide 7 more parking spaces for the employees at AT&T’s switching facility. 

The proposal was to demolish that building along with a house that was right behind it. The Planning Commission denied that request for a parking lot expansion for the following reasons:

•     South Pasadena’s General Plan (Guideline 1.8) encourages the exploration of shared parking and parking access. The applicant indicated in public hearing, that the proposed parking lot would not be available for a shared parking agreement with surrounding land uses that now have insufficient parking.

•     The parking lot expansion does not encourage employees to consider alternate modes of transportation (i.e. carpooling, walking, bicycling, mass transit, etc). This in turn is injurious to the general welfare of the City in terms of increased air pollution related to additional motor vehicle trips to the site.

•     The parking lot expansion would deviate from the City’s goals of creating a pedestrian-oriented downtown district. The parking lot is not an aesthetic improvement to the El Centro Streetscape.

Ultimately, AT&T decided not to appeal the Planning Commission’s decision. AT&T demolished the home, but has decided not to lease the commercial building. 

Prior to AT&T's ownership, the building has also been home to a barber shop, a flower shop, and South Stampadena—a business that sold rubber stamps, ink pads and office supplies. 

Most recently,  set up an office there to display a model of the downtown project. 

But it's been vacant since 2006. 

So today, Patch asks: Were you around to see this building transform over the years? Should AT&T lease it? And if so, what would you like to see pop up next?

Let us know what you think, and we'll feature the best comments in a follow-up post! 

Kim Lesak April 13, 2012 at 07:37 PM
The Place is a truly important and needed service for our young people in South Pasadena. It is often the only place this kids have to go after school. A centrally located spot such as this is ideal.
Jp Abratte April 17, 2012 at 08:32 PM
How about a Butcher Shop
Kristen Lepore June 26, 2012 at 06:55 PM
Update: AT&T says it's working with the city to find the best use for the property at 1412/1414 El Centro. See comments from spokesperson here: http://patch.com/A-v0zr Thoughts?
Just My Opinion July 01, 2012 at 12:14 AM
What's going on with Cappy's storefront? Been vacant for many years. I'm sure Cappy wouldn't mind another business or a non-profit (kids) organization being in there. And, you know, Cappy loved us So. Pas. kids.
Christen Cutrona January 02, 2013 at 07:02 PM
I've lived in South Pasadena for some time now and I've been curious about this space. I have a small letterpress studio Maude Press in South Pasadena and need to find a new location to set up my shop--this space would be perfect!

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