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PASADENA, CA-Construction has started on the office and retail portion of a $40 million mixed-use project called the Pasadena Collection, a development of Los Angeles-based Champion Development that is being built by the Wentz Group of San Carlos, Calif.

The four-story, 70,696-sf structural steel complex at the corner of South Lake and Cordova avenues will include 52,000 sf of office, 17,000 sf of shops, and a three-level underground garage with parking for 225 cars, notes Brian Parno, a vice president at Wentz.

The development, designed by Nadel Architects Inc., will also include 72 luxury apartments and “is the first project ever done in the city that combines office, retail and residential,” developer Robert Champion tells GlobeSt.com.Champion notes that the city amended its general plan for the South Lake Avenue district to accommodate his project and to clear the way for other future developments.

“Initially we proposed 150,000 square feet of office, but there was a lot of concern by residents that this would be too much office in what has traditionally been a retail and residential area,” Champion tells GlobeSt.com.

Champion agreed to modify his project, and the city agreed to amend its general plan to permit projects like Pasadena Collection. “The city council wanted to balance the concerns of residents with the city’s desire to encourage controlled development in the area,” Champion says.

Construction is expected to start soon on the four-story apartment portion of the project, which will be called the Residences at Pasadena and will include single, one- and two-bedroom units ranging from 600 to 1,200 sf. The office and retail portion of the project is due to be finished in July 2003, and the apartments in September 2003.

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