After being vacant since 2011, the former location of Borders Books in Pasadena will finally welcome new tenants.
By News Desk
A local investment group aligned with the Los Angeles-based organic grocery store chain Erewhon has closed escrow on the former I. Magnin department store (then Borders Books). In 2011, Borders Group filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and closed its stores, including the historic retail building at 475 South Lake Avenue in Pasadena.
The vacant building was an eyesore property in the community and the subject of complaints at various district meetings over the years. With the arrival of Erewhon, the community’s outlook will improve. Erewhon has been described as a hub for health-food enthusiasts, celebrities and influencers, thanks to a highly curated food offering that is a combination of organic, gluten-free, biodynamic, free-range, and vegan.
Yuval Chiprut, Chief Development Officer for Erewhon, lead the efforts over many months to overcome many obstacles resulting from nearly a decade of vacancy. He was immediately struck by the classic lines of the original I. Magnin and Bullock’s buildings created over 70 years ago. Yuval and Tony Antoci, Erewhon’s CEO, envisioned the ground floor refurbished and built out for Erewhon, including a makeover of the outdoor common area, landscaping, rooftop and patios surrounding the building for shoppers to eat and hangout.
Steve Mermell, outgoing Pasadena City Manager, said:
We are very excited to have a new use at a long-vacated site. Erewhon will bring new vibrancy to our South Lake area while creating new jobs for area residents.
The 41,760 square foot historic and iconic building is spread over a basement level and magnificent first and second floors. It was successfully marketed by CBRE beginning in the spring of 2020. The majority of second floor will be occupied by Brella, a new model of app-enabled child care center that offers full-time, flexible, and on-demand infant care and preschool, along with parent education classes and family events.
The new ownership is engaged in negotiations with a specialty medical and wellness tenant, for the final potion of second floor of the building and is also contemplating a built-out wine storage facility for residents in the basement space of the building.
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