Originally envisioned as a twin city to Los Angeles, Pasadena seems somehow removed from the bustle and the traffic of its neighbor down the 110. Maybe it’s the jaw-dropping Beaux Arts styling that gives the city’s main entrance, the Colorado Street Bridge, its majestic character. Or maybe it’s the subtlety of even the stateliest buildings that dot the wide, palm-lined streets. Either way, Pasadena is a unique California gem unto itself.
And it’s one that draws businesses of all industrial shapes and sizes, ranging from traditional accounting and business firms to game-changing pioneers like NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab.
Office Space | Pasadena Lease Data & Trends
Pasadena, Glendale, and Burbank make up the East LA submarket known as the Tri-Cities. The area contains nearly 25 million square feet of commercial real estate inventory and is one of the fastest growing submarkets in Los Angeles.
Pasadena Office Space by the Numbers
|Class A (per month)||Class B (per month)||Inventory||Vacancy|
Of the total Tri-Cities inventory, nearly 19 million square feet of spaces is defined as Class A assets. The direct vacancy rate for Class A offices hovers around 18%, with asking rents around $3.20 per square foot per month. Office space rents vary depending on a variety of factors, including building quality (class, age, amenities, etc), location, and lease term.
For the remaining 6+ million square feet of Class B space, availability is tighter. The vacancy rate is closer to 10%, with asking rents hovering around $2.70 per square foot per month ($32 per square foot per year).
Asking rates continue to increase in Pasadena and throughout the Tri-Cities, where more than 40% of Class A buildings have traded hands in the last two years. There is currently no property under construction in the Tri-Cities area.
What Our Brokers Say About Pasadena Office Space for Rent
A number of decorated institutions of higher education dot Pasadena. CalTech (the California Institute of Technology), internationally reputed as a “Top 10” university for its natural sciences and engineering schools, has a pretty Spanish-style campus within walking distance of both Old Town and the Playhouse District. The university’s proximity to the main thoroughfares of Pasadena is ideal for companies looking to recruit talent in related fields.
The CalTech campus is a 10-minute walk from Pasadena City College or PCC. The ArtCenter College of Design, known for attracting innovation in fields like art, design, film, and social fields, is also under a 10-minute drive from both of its fellow Pasadena campuses. For companies whose industry overlaps with or focuses on religion, there’s also the Fuller Theological Seminary, which is one of the largest multidenominational seminaries in the world.
Most campuses also have easy access to Old Town, a region popular with local businesses for its sheer space – it spans more than 20 blocks – and unique identity as a modern urban village housed in the picturesque bones of historic architecture.
Getting to, From, and Around Pasadena
To get around Los Angeles by car is always a challenge, but Pasadena makes it somewhat easier. The city is fairly bikeable, ranking a 66 Bike Score; there are more than 30 bike-share stations around the city. And in Old Town especially, walking is fairly feasible, thanks to a cluster of retail storefronts and offices. The Los Angeles Metro Gold Line services Pasadena at Lake station, connecting the city to stops and connections between East Los Angeles and San Gabriel Valley, by way of Downtown LA.
Pasadena lights up for the nation during the Rose Parade, which takes over the main stretch of Colorado Boulevard on the 1st of every year, culminating in the Rose Bowl football game.
The Huntington Gardens, while not technically in Pasadena proper (the grounds fall under the auspices of San Marino), is nevertheless a major draw for residents and workers in the City of Roses for its scenic grounds of flora, fauna, sculptures, and painting gallery.
Get to Know Pasadena, CA
Pasadena has a strong identity independent of the LA Metro. This is driven by both CalTech and the local businesses, from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory to Vroman’s, the longest-running independent bookstore in the entire Southern California region (founded in 1894).
Pasadena is arguably best known for the houses that line the residential sectors, representing a slice of upper-crust SoCal. Particularly in South Arroyo, a pocket whose border touches Old Town, there’s an upscale flair that’s unusually old-school for a town as reinvented as Los Angeles. It’s also the site of a stretch along South Orange Grove Boulevard once known as Millionaire’s Row; though that moniker is no longer, the homes remain some of the prettiest in the city. One such, the Gamble House, a living example of Greene and Greene’s American Craftsman architecture.
Relatively overshadowed by the other giants in the Los Angeles museum and art world, the Norton Simon Museum is a Pasadena gem. The understated edifice is tucked away on Colorado Boulevard but hosts an impressive collection of European art and Asian antiquities, plus a sculpture garden set among a scenic pond backdrop.
The Norton Simon shares a city turf with the Pasadena Museum of History, which specializes in regional archives and documentation, plus the Pasadena Museum of California Art and USC Pacific Asia Museum. For theater aficionados, the Pasadena Playhouse offers access to performance art on a seasonal basis, to the tune of seven shows per season. CalTech has several venues, including the Beckman Auditorium, which sees a wide range of performances during the academic year.