When you tell people you’re from Los Angeles, they likely get visions of tall office buildings, surrounded by palm trees and lots of noisy traffic. In reality, Los Angeles County is vast, and almost every city has a distinct look and culture. One of the most distinctive is Pasadena. Just 10 miles from downtown Los Angeles, located in the foothills of the San Gabriel Valley, this city is one of the area’s oldest and boasts stunning architecture, tree-lined streets and quiet residential neighborhoods.
Perhaps best known for hosting the annual Rose Bowl football game and New Year’s Day Tournament of Roses Parade, Pasadena is also home to many scientific and cultural institutions, such as the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), the Art Center College of Design, the Pasadena Playhouse and the Norton Simon Museum of Art. These venues attract students, business travelers and tourists to the area. In addition, Pasadena is known for its various thriving commercial districts, all distinct, yet full of character:
Old Pasadena is a historic 20-block area known for its quaint streetscapes, walkways and architectural styles. The area is a mixture of successful big retailers, local independent boutiques and a wide range of chain and independent restaurants, all attracting thousands of visitors to stroll, shop, and dine. The area is a National Register Historic District, and includes two historic public parks, Central Park and Memorial Park.
Civic Center/Paseo Colorado
Located between Old Pasadena and the Playhouse District, this area is a mixture of Renaissance and Mediterranean architecture, with buildings designed by some of California’s most renowned architects from the 1920s and 1930s. World-class hotels and modern office structures make it a great area to locate your business.
The Playhouse District
This is Pasadena’s center for art, literature, and entertainment and has emerged as the city’s most urban neighborhood. This area is encouraging pedestrian traffic and visitors with two initiatives: a public art initiative that installs public artworks at key locations, and a “parklet” initiative that expands retail and dining areas into the street with small extensions beyond the sidewalk where customers can lounge, eat and chat.
The South Lake Business District
This district is another business area boasting tree-lined streets, sidewalk cafés, and top retailers. Its South Lake Business Association works to proactively promote and improve the economic interests of the membership of the South Lake Property Business Improvement District.
Pasadena is also committed to supporting its small businesses with its Pasadena First Buy Local program. The city encourages small businesses to make bids and proposals to do business with the city via outreach programs to register local businesses and create public/private partnerships.
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