The following is a guest post from Maryam Hosseinzadeh, a concerned local who asked us to share this timely alert and hopes that you’ll share it widely before the Monday noon deadline:
ALERT! PASADENA – For more than 100 years, a sleepy corner of Pasadena tucked behind Washington Boulevard near North Hill Avenue has had residential rental properties owned by one religious affiliated university or another: first Pasadena Nazarene starting in 1910, and since a mass purchase in 1977, William Carey International University (WCIU). The campus is soon to become EF Academy, an international boarding school.
According to the Los Angeles Business Journal in a 2018 article, the sale of the campus to EF Academy did not include 131 of the university-owned housing units in the surrounding neighborhood.
The rental properties are currently being sold off one by one, charming circa 1910-29 individual houses that have had the most minor of upgrades, and some multi-family properties with lots of historic charm. The community is worried about these places and the probability of a developer coming in with teardowns in mind, forever changing the character of the historic neighborhood.
If you want to help ensure that a flipper or someone with nefarious dreams of building up doesn’t get there first, bids on a few that are being sold individually are due by this Monday, January 24 at noon. Check the current listings out here:
• 1562 E Topeka Street (A duplex located on a tree lined street, built 1927 – $825,000)
• 1504 E Topeka Street (Two houses on a large lot, needs TLC, built 1924 – $825,000)
• 1581 Wesley Avenue (Two separate homes on one lot on a tree lined street, great opportunity for a first time buyer or an investor, built 1925 – $995,000)
• 1547 Wesley Avenue (This small home sits on a sizable lot, enormous potential and is a perfect setting for your next project, built 1923 – $700,000)
• 1495 E Elizabeth Street (This home features historic built-in and craftsman style wood details, built 1924 – $800,000)
• 1480 E Howard Street (The front door opens into a bright sunroom leading you into the spacious living and dining area with oak floors, built 1924 – $800,000)
• 1625 N Sierra Bonita Avenue (The house features charming historic details including oak hardwood floors, built-in shelves and moulding, built 1929 – $680,000)
And let’s keep our eyes on this charming 26-unit bungalow complex (1938) that’s currently under contract to make sure it too doesn’t meet the fate of many other sweet, affordable places that are getting torn down to build up.
With such a concentration of properties, the historic context of the surrounding neighborhood and the advance knowledge that this day might soon come, these properties all really should have been put into a community land trust negotiated in advance by the City of Pasadena with the guidance of Pasadena Heritage or Heritage Housing Partners—especially given the care that the WCIU gave in selecting the next owner of its campus.
What a missed opportunity. Right now, it feels a bit like a fire sale with many long time tenants displaced, and possibly more neighbors to be lost, depending on to whom and how these sales go.
So please, pass it on.