Los Angeles-based commercial real estate investment firm Greenbridge Investment Partners recently announced that it had reached 75% occupancy at the Star News Building in Pasadena.

Located within close proximity of several local cultural attractions — such as the Pasadena Playhouse, Pasadena Civic Center and Paseo Colorado — the building’s location at 525 E. Colorado Blvd. also boasts major street exposure along historic Route 66.

The landmark Star News Building at 525 E. Colorado Blvd. in the Playhouse District of Pasadena. Property image courtesy of CommercialEdge.

Representatives of the firm noted that increasing demand for in-person dining and delivery services in Pasadena’s financial district had been a boom for the landmark property, which has proven to be an inviting home for retail and restaurant tenants.

Until 2017, the Star News Building was home to renowned culinary and hospitality school Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts, which trained culinary, patisserie and baking students in classical French cooking techniques. Le Cordon Bleu occupied four floors of the building, which included the school’s own restaurant — Technique — and was the final step of the student’s “on-campus” education before graduating as a cook.

In Q1 2022, Greenbridge announced that it had inked a deal with Los Angeles-founded gourmet cookie company Last Crumb to occupy the 7,500-square-foot fourth floor in order to expand its production and fulfillment facilities following two years of great success across the region.

Several months later last year, Greenbridge also secured a new tenant for the ground-floor retail space previously occupied by Le Cordon Bleu: The firm signed a lease for 12,000 square feet with Wake and Late, a downtown Los Angeles-based breakfast burrito chain. According to reporting by The Real Deal, the expanding dining business intends to use the new storefront for food and coffee sales, as well as a bakery to supply its three current Wake and Late locations. Per recent statements released by Greenbridge, Wake and Late is expected to open this Pasadena retail space for business this spring.

The landmark Star News Building at 525 E. Colorado Blvd. in the Playhouse District of Pasadena. Property image courtesy of CommercialEdge.

“We have seen growing demand for in-person dining in Pasadena come back with strength,” said Principal of Greenbridge Investment Partners, Sean Hashem. “525 Colorado has shown clear signs to emerge as a key player in the continuously growing local dining and retail market, due to the success our tenants have experienced over the past year.”

Designed by Joseph Blick and completed in 1925, the five-story Beaux Arts building on East Colorado Boulevard was home to the Pasadena Star News for more than six decades. The newspaper — one of the oldest publications in the country and in circulation since 1884 — moved to the equally historic Lieberg Building in the late 1990s.

The unique architecture and character of the property have largely been preserved both inside and out throughout the renovation work that has been carried out over time. Today, both tenants and their clients can enjoy the large, open spaces; 16-foot-high vaulted ceilings; and etched stonework of the original design.

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