City Hall Scoop

South Pasadena News and Updates

As the City and the Chamber of Commerce work together to find ways our community and government can support local businesses during these unprecedented times, we also look forward to welcoming some newcomers to the South Pasadena eatery scene.  Just drive by the old Citizens Bank Building at 901 Fair Oaks and you’ll see improvements that will accommodate five new tenant spaces, three of which will soon be occupied by Starbucks, Chipotle and The Habit Burger.  Starbucks has wanted a larger store to replace the one at the Well Fargo branch across the street, and the renovated bank building will provide a larger and updated café, with expansive outdoor seating.  Chipotle is a well-known leader in providing freshly-prepared food with healthy, responsibly-sourced ingredients.  And The Habit, founded in 1969 in Santa Barbara, has grown from being a popular burger and malt stand for surfers into a restaurant company with a passionate national following.  Starbucks, Chipotle and The Habit are all scheduled to open in August.

The Kutzer Company, the firm redeveloping 901 Fair Oaks, has divulged a few of the many challenges of converting an older bank building into a modern, multi-tenant project, but the most interesting tidbit was what to do with the old bank vault.  It turns out it is built like a super-fortified bunker, with a dense mesh of steel rebar that provides structural support for the high ceilings and clear spans of the original bank building. So, rather than try to remove it, Dahl Architects and Krakower & Assoc. Engineering figured out how to re-use the vault as a back of house work area and restrooms for Starbucks.  So, if you have to use the restroom during an earthquake…you can rest assured!

Joanna Hankamer
Planning and Community Development Director


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