Owner-applicant Paul Long alluded to several discussions with various restaurant and coffeehouse owners interested in leasing the space, including Starbucks Coffee Co. and the Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf.
“In this environment, as I am sure you are aware, there aren’t a lot of people trying to put in anything,” said Long, who acquired the property in 1997. “They are tearing them down and closing them down. So we’ve had the great and good fortune of talking to some people who are interested.”
Board member Vahe Hovanessian pointed to the pedestrian-friendly nature of Magnolia Park, arguing that the 4:30 to 12:30 a.m. hours of operation approved by the board would give the owners enough flexibility to offer the property as a restaurant or coffee shop. No deliveries would take place after 10 p.m. or before 7 a.m.
“I think this is a wonderful project,” Hovanessian said. “It’s about time that there is a food location at that particular intersection.”
Both the Magnolia Park Community Advisory Committee and Magnolia Park Partnership Inc. endorsed the new use, but concerns about parking at the corridor came to the fore at the meeting Monday.
“My concern is that there isn’t enough disabled parking in that area,” Hovanessian said. “With regard to the street parking, yes, there’s lots of it.”
The board approved a handicapped parking stall to be installed in addition to the existing van-accessible space. The board also added language that requires employees to first look for roof parking before taking on-street spaces.
Chairman Kenneth San Miguel applauded the proposal, adding that he would like to see Magnolia Park take on even more of an Old Town Pasadena feel.
“I like the pedestrian-friendly atmosphere,” he said. “Hopeful all your plans go through, and hopefully everybody in the neighborhood goes along.”