LOS ANGELES—It is official. Old Town Pasadena has a new hotel—its first in 15 years. R.D. Olson Development delivered the 144-room, 94.091-square-foot Residence Inn this week at a grand opening ceremony with project stakeholders Marriott International and project general contractor R.D. Olson Construction.
“Pasadena is a vibrant market, and it serves many demand generators—leisure, business, group travel, government business,” Bob Olson, CEO and founder of R.D. Olson Construction, tells GlobeSt.com. “The renaissance happening there over the last 15 years has been very exciting to see. In addition to all of that, it is also very difficult to develop anything in the market. The process is very complicated.”
The development company, which is known for its successful hotel projects throughout Southern California, purchased the development site out of foreclosure. The site was once entitled for a hotel project, but the entitlements had since expired. “The entitlement had expired on the property, and so we essentially bought the property unentitled,” adds Olson. “We had to go through the process, and that took four years.” The purchase price of the asset and the cost of the development were not disclosed.
Like all R.D. Olson projects, the hotel design is a reflection of the surrounding market. Working with sister company R.D. Olson Construction, the firm matched the vintage plaster on the surrounding buildings and found metal windows to ensure that the design was congruent with the neighboring structures. “There is such rich history to pull from, starting with the Rose Bowl,” says Olson. “We have Rose Bowl posters from the 20s and 30s, and we used photos of the architecture in the market. Photos of the famous Colorado Street Bridge in Pasadena is our main art in our guestrooms.”
The guestrooms are a mix of studio, one- and two-bedroom rooms. The suites have kitchens with high-end appliances, and all guests benefit from onsite amenities, like a CrossFit gym, high speed Internet and a 24-hour market. Additionally, the property is walking distance from the shops and restaurants along Colorado Street. “We really like to have an impact on people when they arrive by creating a real sense of place,” explains Olson about the design philosophy. “Our hotel is reflective of what the community is from the moment guests walk in.”