Progress | South Pasadena

New and Renovated Commercial Buildings in South Pasadena

There's a lot going on in SouthPas! Check out these recent relocations and renovations, some of which are still a work-in-progress.


Workers and residents in the San Gabriel Valley and northeast Los Angeles are now enjoying the Tomato Pie’s signature pizzas as well as Italian pasta, subs, and salads with the opening of its third location at 1130 Mission Street in South Pasadena.

Owner and former New Yorker Garrett Policastro, and his partners Freddy Suarez and Hunter Phelan, have completed a major rehabilitation of the historic 1910 building for its restaurant. The building interior and exterior were designed by Synthesis Design Group and Ilan Dei of Los Angeles which serves clients interested in producing cutting-edge retail spaces. “The restaurant design inspiration is vintage and retro and updated with modern elements for today’s customers who value quality and fun,” says Policastro who worked as a designer in architecture before becoming a restaurateur and chef. Alan Richman of GQ magazine ranked Tomato Pie’s, “The Grandma” as one of America’s 10 best pizzas after traveling 20,000 miles in search of the best pizza on earth for his story, American Pie. The restaurant’s pizzas have also been celebrated by Sunset Magazine, Pizza Today, and Gayot. The LA Weekly rated its gluten-free pizza pie crust the best in Los Angeles. Policastro answers key questions about his indie eatery.
What does “East Coast Flavor” mean? “We use the traditional mid-century authentic NY way of hand tossing pizzas. The dough is crafted to make a thin crust that is soft and tender with a chewy middle and crisp bottom.”

What is special about Tomato Pie? “Our pizza joints use natural meats and quality fresh ingredients, an open kitchen design, custom-made furniture, and we value employee training. We aim to provide the customer with excellent service and an experience that is both classic and modern.”

Why did the owners choose to locate in South Pas? “South Pasadena appeals to my partners and me because of its emphasis on quality of life for families. The Mission District offered us an interesting neighborhood with history and architectural character and the opportunity to create a vibrant place for families of all ages to eat food that could be from your home kitchen.”

Fun fact: The orange and blue theme decor reflect the colors of Syracuse University and Policastro’s fond memories growing up in New York and “grabbing pizza cuts with dad after football and basketball games.”

Favorite Slogans: “Thanks for coming, see you tomorrow!”and “All food is fat-free, we don’t charge for the fat!”

99 Pasadena Avenue - Corporate Headquarters for Creative Companies

Completed in 2009, this world-class creative building creates a gateway to the city from Los Angeles at the York Street Bridge over the historic Arroyo Seco. Originally the headquarters of PictureArts, a stock photography company, the new building now houses several creative and financial companies. The 36,000 square foot class A creative space is South Pasadena's first "green building" with an array of solar panels on the roof. Design and construction faced severe challenges, and the developer invested in City infrastructure to create a safer intersection out of a cobbled intersection that was the product of long-gone railroad crossings and cart paths. 99 Pasadena Ave. is a shining example of good things to come in the Ostrich Farm area of South Pasadena.

South Pasadena Comerica Bank - Historic Restoration

Photo of the original bank building in South Pasadena at Mission and Fair Oaks Ave., circa 1924. Courtesy of the South Pasadena Public Library.

Comerica Bank today is investing in historic South Pasadena in a major way, recreating the 1920's building at the heart of town. This one of six new locations for the Dallas based bank in Southern California in 2010. "Because Comerica is a healthy bank with a strong capital position, we are able to help build futures for communities, families and employers of all sizes," says Mike Fulton, president and CEO of Comerica Bank's Western Market.

Before Comerica Bank began its California expansion in 2004, it had 42 banking centers statewide, 14 in three Southern California counties. The South Pasadena branch is at 824 Fair Oaks, South Pasadena, near the Mission Street area; opens second quarter.

Comerica, whose predecessor bank was founded in Michigan in 1849, offers complete checking and FDIC-insured deposit accounts, financial planning expertise, on-the-job banking, cash management and other business services, plus convenient Saturday hours. For more information, go to

South Pasadena Cancer Center - City of Hope Medical Group Local Connection

Standing proudly at the northern gateway of South Pasadena is the pristine, state-of-the-art South Pasadena Cancer Center. Opened in October 2009, the facility is a 22,000 square foot state-of-the-art outpatient cancer center which serves the San Gabriel Valley, San Fernando Valley and parts of greater Los Angeles. Located just minutes from Huntington Memorial Hospital in South Pasadena, California, the Cancer Center is staffed with California Cancer Specialists physicians who provide expertise in several areas of medicine, from Medical Oncology to Urology, Urologic Oncology and Robotic Surgery.

The South Pasadena Cancer Center is among the first in Los Angeles to offer RapidArc, a new advanced non-surgical treatment that destroys tumors.Using computerized image-guided technology, RapidArc conforms to the tumor, sparing healthy tissue and organs from radiation. In addition to its precision, RapidArc is up to 8 times faster than other advanced radiation therapies. Many treatments are as short as just a few minutes - giving patients more time to do the things they enjoy most.

In addition, with expertise in minimally invasive and robotic surgery, South Pasadena Cancer Center surgeons and physicians bring expertise in medical care and research to the local community.

1409 Mission Street - Mission Commons

A mixed use project is now complete at the southeast corner of Mission Street and Fremont Avenue. The 3-story project has 4,749 square feet of ground floor commercial space (facing Mission Street), 5 live-work units (facing Fremont Avenue), and 11 residential units on the upper floors, over a subterranean parking garage.