Charles Company Presents New Plans… Falling Short of Community Vision.

On December 15th, speaking to a full house of community members at the Altadena Town Council, Gene Detchemendy – representative for the Charles Company – made some promises for improving the Lake/Calaveras property.

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Recent view of construction at Lake and Calaveras. (12/20/2015)

Improvements promised to the Lake Avenue facing wall included clear windows – to static displays, not a view into the store – and a door – an emergency exit door.  The developer representative was particularly enthusiastic about changes to the Calaveras side of the building, which will be more pedestrian friendly, he said, with an extended pergola on the building side, with planned landscaping exchanged for hard-scaping, creating more opportunities for sitting along that side of the building. Also mentioned was the addition of trellises and four benches, though it is not clear where those will be. The development company is also recommending a change in color scheme – from pale whites – to richer browns – more in line with the Aldi store color scheme.

Aldi representative, Paul Cornejo, was also in attendance, the strongest guarantee that Aldi will be the store occupying the space – though it sounded as if all terms of Aldi’s lease were not fully decided as of 12/15. Mr. Cornejo also addressed the Council, and talked about jobs in the store: there will be around 20 new jobs, with starting pay at $13/h
our, with earning potential up to $21/hour, with employees guaranteed 35-40 hours week, and guaranteed health benefits.

Mr. Cornejo
also mentioned that Aldi will only occupy around 20,000 square feet in the building, that another 7,000 square feet will be open for another business.  Mr. Detchemendy said they would be seeking a “synergistic” store – such as a pharmacy or bank.  The ad for the commercial space can be seen here: http://www.loopnet.com/xNet/Looplink/Profile/Profile.aspx?LID=19521060&STID=CB0003&LL=true

Altadenans attending seemed glad changes were being considered, but were disappointed that there was no real attempt to create an opening in the building to foot traffic on Lake.  Lin Griffith, NBBA member, addressed the Council and Mr. Detchemendy, saying there were options to create pedestrian-friendly openings without creating a back and front entrance.

“We hope the County and the developer will continue to work with us to find a better solution for Altadena,” Lin said. “We will have to live with this building for decades to come,” she added.

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We’re making a difference – let’s keep the heat on!

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Members of the White Paper Coalition address the Altadena Town Council, encouraging changes needed to the Lake/Calaveras development.

Last month a broad coalition of Altadenans filled the room of the Altadena Town Council and presented a White Paper, arguing that the Charles Company’s building plans for our historic Lake and Calaveras corner did not meet our community standards (CSD).  We stood together and insisted changes
needed to be made – and quickly – before substantial work on the construction site took place.

We were well organized and well received – and the ATC took swift action to forward our deep concerns to the County Supervisor’s office.

On Tuesday, December 15th, Gene Detchemendy – a representative of the Charles Company developer – will present to the ATC again on the development.  We hope we will hear them commit to substantive changes to the Lake/Calaveras building site that will come in alignment with our Community Standards.

We know that being there will help ensure our message is well received, once again.

Please come out to the meeting Tuesday evening to show your support for an Altadena-friendly smart building design.  Wear Altadena Green!  The ATC meets at 7 PM on Tuesday the 15th, in the Altadena Community Center, 730 E. Altadena Drive.