Pasadena mixed-use project would include 100 resi units

Developer James Li is proposing a 196K sf property that has garnered local support

Developer James Li and a rendering of the proposed project at 150 E. Colorado Boulevard
Developer James Li and a rendering of the proposed project at 150 E. Colorado Boulevard

A Pasadena developer’s plan to build a large mixed-use complex with a 100-unit residential component is getting strong support from City Hall.

James Li, via Colorado Holdings LLC, wants to demolish a two-story office building at 150 E. Colorado Boulevard in order to construct a 196,000-square-foot building, according to the Pasadena Star-News. The proposal would make about a quarter of the total space — about 50,000 square feet — commercial.

Local officials support Li’s plan to build in the Art Deco style and replace what the Star-News called a “derided boxy black office” with a Steinway Piano gallery on its ground floor. The new structure would range from from two to eight stories and including open pedestrian pathways.

“I think this will be one of the most dramatic additions to downtown,” Pasadena Mayor Terry Tornek said.

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Li is the CEO of Shanghai banking firm E.J. McKay & Co., and is an active developer in Pasadena. He is also proposing a 115-unit mixed-use project at 711 Walnut Street.

Li’s firm bills itself as a boutique investment company that specializes in complex deals involving Chinese capital. It is unclear how Li is funding either of his projects.

Developers are planning a slew of multifamily projects in Pasadena. Last week, a joint venture of Fortune Time USA and Giantech Development finished clearing a parking lot for a 55-unit project on E. Del Mar Boulevard.

Summerhill Apartment Communities broke ground on a 105-unit development on North El Molino Avenue. Trammell Crow is planning bigger, with a 500-unit project at a former U.S. Navy site. [PSN] — Dennis Lynch