Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Developers, Developers

Janette Williams at the PSN [via Aaron Proctor] reports on the latest victim of gentrification: Crown City Loan & Jewelry, aka the Old Town pawnshop.

Until Tiffany & Co. moved in across the street, Old Pasadena's chic jewelry boutique was the pawnshop on the corner of Raymond Avenue and Colorado Boulevard.

Now Crown City Loan and Jewelry, one of the last remnants of the old Old Pasadena, is moving off the main drag, leaving the 35er, an adult bookstore and a little Mexican restaurant as the last connections to a grittier past.

Another local biz bites the dust, slaughtered by rising rent and pressure by other snooty businesses, right? Well, not quite.

Doug Robinson bought the 50-year-old business in 1989 when the area was "a little seedy," and said he has mixed feelings about moving to new digs at 95 N. Arroyo Parkway.

"I'm very sad, and feel bad about it," said Robinson, a "people person" who said he'll miss the constantly changing street scene outside the window. "But we own this building and the time has come to develop it and bring in a major tenant."

Interesting. It's Robinson's call and he wants to make the big bucks that a new development promises. That being said, it's hard to imagine whatever major brand occupies the space will have the same kind of flavor that the Crown City L&J offered, a development story that is hitting all the Foothill Cities to varying degrees.

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