Residents and business owners in the Playhouse Village (formerly Playhouse District) say excitement is in the air.
By Deborah Dentler
Playhouse Village’s long-awaited new public park is on track to open by mid-summer 2022, and possibly even sooner, according to Marjorie Lindbeck, a local resident and president of the board of the Playhouse Village Association (PVA). A name for the new park (at the intersection of El Molino and Union Avenues) will be announced by the City Council before opening ceremonies.
Ms. Lindbeck, who goes by “Margie,” shared with ColoradoBoulevard.net photos she snapped this week from an upper floor of her condo building. Residents have a bird’s eye view of the construction project, located at the intersection of El Molino and Union Avenues.
Workers in hard hats have been busy throughout the pandemic transforming the site (formerly a bank building and city parking lot) into green space, a kids’ play area, event space, two off-leash dog runs, and lighted paths.
The site will feature parking spaces for 48 cars, a concession to business interests, some of whom initially resisted plans to reduce parking in the Playhouse Village area. Electric vehicle chargers and amenities for cyclists are being installed this week, according to the construction foreman.
The park is the culmination of nearly 20 years of lobbying by residents of central Pasadena, many of whom had grown increasingly dismayed as funds were diverted from their neighborhood to pay for improvements to parks in other parts of Pasadena. In 2018, City Council voted to spend $2.5 million in residential impact fees raised from developers in the Playhouse Village area to purchase land for the park.
Laif Swanson, president of a nearby condo homeowner’s association, was thrilled to hear the park might open even sooner than planned. Ms. Swanson said, “The pandemic brought residents outdoors in search of safe ways to exercise and mingle” and, as the pandemic wears on, “the new park can’t come soon enough!”