Pasadena hires manager to redevelop 50 acres of 710 Freeway stub

The City of Pasadena has hired a manager to head the development of nearly 50 acres of a once-planned extension of the 710 Freeway.

The city named public works veteran Wendy Macias as senior project manager to redevelop an ugly ditch known as the 710 stub born of eminent domain, the Pasadena Star-News reported. 

Macias, a resident of Pasadena with two decades of planning experience, now serves as public works manager for the City of Paramount. It’s not clear when she will take the job in Pasadena. 

She will stay on with the city once the 710 stub job is done, city officials said.

In addition to hiring Macias, the City Council hired Pasadena-based consultancy PointC to help Pasadena organize local groups, commissions, stakeholders and project partners in creating a  unified vision for the site. The $540,000 contract ends in 2026.

The 710 stub, south of the interchange for the 134 and 210 freeways, is a corridor of gravel and dirt flanked by St. John and Pasadena avenues, from Union to Columbia streets.

It resulted from land and homes seized by the state through eminent domain six decades ago for the once-planned extension to the 710 Freeway. The destruction of a single-family neighborhood displaced minority and low-income residents to make way for a now-defunct freeway expansion.

In what was deemed a win for local control in Pasadena, the California Transportation Commission in June returned the nearly 50-acre corridor back to the city, along with a payment of $5 million.

The city is now deciding what to build on the site. Options include affordable housing and open space. An advisory group was appointed this year for input into the redevelopment plan.

— Dana Bartholomew

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