Story by Noah Kuhn
Associate News Editor
Photo by Sean Jin
Construction on the southwest corner of Fair Oaks and Mission at 901 Fair Oaks Ave. began in November 2019 and will finish by the end of 2020. The new space will host a Starbucks, Chipotle, an undisclosed but regionally recognized restaurant, and two other stores.
The local Kutzer Company bought the building from Citizens Bank, who moved up to 625 Fair Oaks, in 2018 and then contracted work out to Dahl Architects and the landscaper Lillian Montalvo. Kutzer calls the project Fairoaks@mission and has leased out equal property shares to the five tenants, three of whom have yet to sign the contract and therefore cannot yet be disclosed.
The building’s roof, with its 16-foot high ceilings and exterior, remains. Dahl Architects still need to put install drywall, new crystal clear glass, electrical wiring, and gas pipes. Dahl Architects will also remove the sidewalk planters to create outdoor patio seating that is level all the way around.
Starbucks and Chipotle will share a corner seating area with an ivy covered walls and native foliage backdrop. On the Mission side, two used retail stores will meld into the antique shopping ambiance of downtown South Pasadena located next to the adjoining parking lot.
Dahl Architects is seeking to preserve the space’s history by leaving the exterior brick and tile. At the same time, Fairoaks@mission will include new sustainable features such as its rainwater collection and filtering system that ensures that all precipitation is kept on site and recycled into the ground.
Large skylights and state-of-the-art bicycle racks will promote an eco-friendly community and establish the building’s position as the contemporary gateway to historic downtown South Pasadena.
“All the outdoor dining and seating is really going to activate the storefronts both on Fair Oaks and Mission,” architect Steve Dahl said. “I think it will actually help the other existing businesses because people will come here to eat, shop, and park — it helps the whole neighborhood.”
Dahl Architects will collaborate with the landscaper on the exterior patios before turning the project over to each individual tenant. The Fairoaks@mission project will open the new building by the end of 2020.