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Archive for the ‘Business’ Category

Coffee, etc.

I am admittedly a bit of a coffee snob. Okay, I am a total coffee snob. Fortunately, I live close to the best coffeehouse in the entire LA Metroplex: Jones Coffee. I’ve had Intelligentsia, La Mill, and Urth–all of which make exceptional coffee–but I would honestly rank Jones at the top of the heap in LA. The Jones family has been growing coffee for five generations, and they roast all of their beans on site. And because they grow and roast their own beans, they are able to sell their coffee for less than anyone else around. All of this, of course, would be meaningless if their coffee didn’t taste so stinking good. Thankfully, they employ a roaster who obviously knows what he’s doing and some baristas who can pull a shot with the best of them. Drop in on most days, and chances are good you’ll hear Alex Klein playing jazz standards on the upright piano. Parking can be a pain, but once you start sipping your cappuccino you’ll realize it’s well worth it.

If you’re already a fan of Jones, you can vote for Jones as Best Coffeeshop in Vroman’s Local Business Smackdown.

Jones Coffee

Jones Coffee (Photo courtesy of winni3)

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Room Forty

South Pasadena is home to an inventive catering company called Room Forty. The owner, Steve Fortunato, also lives in South Pas. Room Forty is innovative because they take just as much care shaping the aesthetics of an event as they do in creating the food. In Fortunato’s own words, “Room Forty is a mobile hospitality company that exists to create dining events,” a “virtual fine dining restaurant without walls.” I have been to one of his events and have experienced firsthand his ability to bring the elegance of a sophisticated restaurant into the host’s living room or backyard. If you have a special event coming up and are looking for someone to help create a memorable evening, then give Steve at Room Forty a call. Room Forty also puts on wine dinners at houses in the area; you can purchase tickets to these special dinners directly from the Web site.

Room Forty Delicacies

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City Council/Community Redevelopment Agency Meeting
Wednesday 5/21, 2008 : 7:30 p.m.
Open Session: Amedee O. “Dick” Richards, Jr., Council Chambers, 1424 Mission Street

Here’s an article in the Pasadena Star-News about the CRA meeting this Wednesday.

South Pas Blogs is for the approval of the Downtown South Pas development project. Quite frankly, I have difficulty understanding why anyone is against it. The plans are tasteful and reflective of the community’s history. The developers have remained committed to listening to what the community wants, including low-density development and not bringing in big-box retailers.

I think one of the most compelling reasons to support the project at the meeting this Wednesday night is the Mission Oaks Parking District, an agreement set into place by the owners of the properties behind the buildings on Mission Street and Fair Oaks Avenue, within the block of Mission, El Centro, Fair Oaks, and Mound. The agreement was made in 1984 and ends in 2009. This is a 25-year agreement that will not renew. The majority property owners (Bank of America and Citizens Bank) will likely pursue their own interests with the property at the time the agreement ends and have stated as much. It reasonably can be surmised that if the Downtown Revitalization project is not approved, this property will be developed anyway.

However, the development of any private land by the owners of said land will not be part of a CRA project. Thus, as such, their development plans will not include public outreach, public input, nor any public benefits as being provided by DECOMA within their proposed designs for the Revitalization of Downtown South Pas. For example, DECOMA has proposed a project that is more than 60% less dense (60 units – 12 of which are senior affordable) than what is currently allowed by the City of South Pas’ building code. The current project includes building 17 units per acre instead of the allowable 24 units per acre. The reduction in density was something DECOMA volunteered to do and was not a requirement made by the city. Therefore, expect the banks to maximize profit by maximizing their footprint and density on site.
For me, the bottom line is that the community has had a say in the development process from the beginning. If the community chooses not to give the project a thumbs up on Wednesday night, we very well may be saying goodbye to any say in future development of privately-owned land in town.
I encourage you to show up at the City Council chambers on Wednesday night and voice your support of the project.

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According to Doug Willis at up2daterealestate.com, October real estate values in South Pasadena remain level.

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