Apparently at the northwest corner of Altadena Drive and Lake. A very few changes.
If you access the property owner’s remodeling plans for these two or three blighted acres – also known as the slum -- it might come as a surprise to find that, though no work has started, the project is scheduled for 2011. The clock, as they say, is ticking.
Surprised, that is, until you see the . I figure the construction crew could start and finish the project on New Year’s Eve and still have time to shave, shower, and hit an afternoon party.
According to the design graphic posted on the remodeling plan, it appears the owner intends to make a few modest additions -- a new sign and a few trees. Again, relying on the graphic, the most dramatic and startling difference between the current and future plaza will be the presence of more than one car in the parking lot.
It’s unclear what will account for this a sudden influx of traffic -- maybe a pilgrimage to view the new sign. Or maybe the drivers hope to find an auto parts supply store, similar to the one that recently packed up its spark plugs and motor oil and hightailed it down the hill to Pasadena.
Now that Kragens Auto Parts has left the mall, Rite Aid stands alone as the jewel in the crown, and needs a new, and equally impressive companion. I wonder what kind of business will come a courting -- what business will find those ten or twelve new trees utterly irresistable. Based on recent local retail history, likely candidates include stores selling liquor, used clothes, and religion.
That the two successful residents on the corner Lake and Altadena, and , have been able to thrive in this location is only a testament to the quality of their products. Clearly, if you look at the signage today, the property owner has spared all expense in sending out a warm welcome on behalf of its clientele.
As most of us agree, this corner has so much potential. A breathtaking view of the Mighty San Gabriels, loads of morning and afternoon traffic, easy access, and a town with discretionary income. Just the place for boutiques, specialty foods, and cafes, with plenty of room for creative, experimental landscaping to complement the shops and the neighborhood.
But that doesn’t appear to be in either the cards or the plan.
Through continued neglect, benign or otherwise, I can only guess the owner doesn’t want this area to succeed. Oh, but that just leads to conspiracy theories. Besides I could be wrong. Looking again at all the cars in the design graphic, perhaps the owner knows something about business and commerce that’s lost on me. But I doubt it. By sticking some trees in asphalt holes and getting all the letters in the neon sign to light up on the same day and at the same time, I doubt we’ll see anything unexpected or unprecedented, such as an attractive new business. Or customers.
There are few guarantees in life, but here's one: If you don't build it, they won't come.