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New Playhouse District Assoc Executive Director

New Playhouse District Assoc Executive Director

If you’re thinking about moving to Pasadena, there’s a good chance you’ll be in a special district or association: homeowners/resident associations, landmark/historic districts, business improvement districts. They are basically organized to protect the historical/architectural integrity or improve the economic status of the area covered. 

One such group, and arguably the best of the bunch – the Pasadena Playhouse District Association (PDA) – welcomed Brian Wallace as its new Executive Director on June 15th.  The PDA “is dedicated to managing and marketing Pasadena’s Playhouse District”, with the mission “to promote the economic vitality of the Playhouse District as the center of culture, commerce and community in the heart of Pasadena.”

Wallace was promoted after being chosen from a nationwide search of candidates.  He was previously the PDA’s Economic Development coordinator and follows the big footsteps left by Erlinda Romo.

Romo is leaving to go into “semi-retirement” after 10 years that truly transformed the district.  Included in a “farewell” message Romo sent out, she noted:

“I am leaving the PDA in a banner year.”,…”Working with a dedicated group of staff members, volunteers, committee members and board members has created an environment of success.  These incremental accomplishments have worked to transform the Playhouse District.  There are more people walking the sidewalks, there is more investment occurring, the District is creating more sales tax revenues, and there is a strong sense of place that has been established.”, …”I have full confidence that my efforts will be the foundation for the next several years with Brian Wallace as the new PDA executive director starting on June 15.”

The Playhouse district boundaries extend from Los Robles Avenue on the west to Catalina Avenue on the east, along the Colorado Boulevard corridor spreading, generally, a couple of blocks north & south from Colorado.  Some of the businesses within these boundaries are the Pasadena Playhouse of course, restaurants and cafes such as  Tender Greens, Zona Rosa Caffe, El Portal Mexican restaurant, and Le Muse Wine & Coffee; businesses Vroman’s Bookstore, Target, Galerie Gabrie, T. Boyle’s Tavern, Ice House Comedy, Nova Picture Framing & Gallery,  Pasadena Star News, Boston Court Theater, The Walt Girdner Photo Studio & Gallery; historic Pasadena churches United Methodist and Pasadena Presbyterian, and many other places deserving of your exploration.

In the past few years it’s become a prime destination for new multiple residential complexes, and new business development, notably the Playhouse Plaza building at El Molino Avenue & Colorado Blvd. It’s tenants include Charles Schwab investments and EpicSpaces Co-Working.  All this has resulted in attracting more & new people into the Playhouse district to do business, live and increased activity.

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I paid a visit to the new Executive Director on his first day in office.   Brian wanted me to share this short message with the readers: “I’m excited to be the new Executive Director for the Playhouse District Association and look forward to continuing our work of making the district an even more vibrant destination!”  He also said he intends, as with his predecessor, to leave a positive mark on the district before he leaves.

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From a personal perspective, I’ve known Wallace since he was the PDA Economic Development coordinator and  have known him to be conscientious, a good listener, personable, friendly, a hard-worker, plus:  it’s good to know Brian and his family are Pasadena residents!

We wish him the very best, for Pasadena’s sake.


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