SOUTH PASADENA, Calif. (March 9, 2016) – Last night, the South Pasadena Board of Education approved a motion to issue project developer, Legacy Partners, a notice that the South Pasadena Unified School District (SPUSD) will be terminating the Exclusive Negotiation Agreement covering the Mission Place Project. This action brings to a close any possibility that the proposed Mission Place Project will be built on the School District parking lot.
“Thank you to the administrators and former boards for the thought and energy that went into this innovative response to unpredictable educational funding in California. Thanks also to our community for the robust dialogue surrounding the Mission Place Project,” said Julie Giulioni, President, SPUSD Board of Education. “The public comments and written documentation submitted clearly demonstrate that this project in its current form is not the right project for us.”
The idea for the Mission Place Project began in 2008. At the time, the School District faced critical budget shortfalls and began exploring additional local revenue possibilities consistent with the School District’s strategic plan. With prime real estate in a significant part of the city, commercial development options were explored. After early community input and committee recommendations, a project was proposed that involved a 99-year ground lease of the parking lot and would result in a long-term, sustainable source of local revenue.
Over the past eight years, the School District has partnered extensively with the City of South Pasadena on this development proposal. Specific measures were taken to ensure that the project complied with the City’s Mission Street Specific Plan (South Pasadena’s intentions for development of this area). At the City’s request, the Board assumed the role of lead agency, taking responsibility land use planning. This involved commissioning a draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) and a comprehensive parking study, holding numerous public meetings, and overseeing an eight-week public comment period during which written and verbal opinions were collected.
“In the end, the Board determined that the concerns of the community overshadowed the potential benefits of the development,” added Geoff Yantz, SPUSD Superintendent. “At the District level, we now need to move forward with developing additional local funding sources for school facilities and programs to ensure that we continue to provide South Pasadena students with the highest quality education possible.”
For more information, contact: Andrea Fox, South Pasadena Unified School District, email@example.com