Plans to redevelop a surface parking lot near the Metro L Line's Sierra Madre Villa Station with multifamily housing and retail are going through a revamp, according to a staff presentation to the Pasadena Design Commission.

Residential perspective - courtyardCallisonRTKL

In 2018, the Commission signed off on the conceptual design of a proposed development at 3452-3488 E. Foothill Boulevard which called for the construction of new parking and multifamily housing, as well as the renovation of an existing Panda Inn restaurant and an 11-story office building.  At the time, the completed development called for the addition of 232 apartments in a trio of six-story buildings, accompanied by a new five-level parking garage adjacent to the nearby 210 Freeway.

Under the revised plan, project applicant Mill Creek Development has tapped CallisonRTKL to design the project, which is called CFT Gateway Center.  Changes proposed in the updated plan include the conversion of surface parking next to the Panda Inn restaurant into a courtyard with a valet zone, as well as the elimination of a central green space at the center of the property.  Space originally intended for a leasing office and amenities at street-level along the west side of the property are now planned as commercial space for lease.

The revised design, while overall similar in form the original design, now calls for a grid-like exteriors framed with aluminum.  Street-level finishes adjacent to the Panda Inn building would have solid brick walls, matching the exterior of the restaurant.

Residential perspective - 210 freewayCallisonRTKL

Design work for the Panda Inn is being carried out by AO.

A staff report to the Commission argues that the revised plan would, after the implementation of conditions of approval, match the city's design guides, and recommends approval.  The project would still be subject to a final design review at a later date.

Mill Creek Development and CallisonRTKL are also working on Olivewood Village, a similar mixed-use project with housing and retail now under construction in the Pasadena Playhouse District.

View of parking garage from HalsteadCallisonRTKL

The owner of the development site, restaurant, and office buildings is listed as an entity affiliated with the Cherng family, which owns Panda Express chain.  The family's holdings also include a development site poised for a smaller housing and retail complex in South Pasadena.

Other developments in the works near Sierra Madre Villa Station include a proposed housing and retail complex from High Street Residential that would rise two blocks west on Foothill Boulevard.

3452 E Foothill BoulevardCity of Pasadena