The long-discussed Plaza at Santa Monica project, planned for city-owned land in Downtown Santa Monica, has once again resurfaced with a new, slightly pared down design.
The project, which would replace a group of bank buildings and surface level parking lots, has been in development for several years. A city committee initially selected a plan from developer Metropolitan Pacific Capital and designer OMA, the architecture firm headed by Pritzker Prize winner Rem Koolhaas. The city council later rejected that option, only to reselect it after an affordable housing component was added.
But city officials still worried that the project had a few too many notes, so to speak, and, as the Santa Monica Lookout reports, the council asked for a height reduction in 2015. Renderings of the smaller project have now been unveiled and members of the public will be able to comment on them in writing until March 2.
Under the new plans, the project will range in height from 19 feet to 129 feet at the peak of its fan-like design. That’s down from a peak of 148 feet in the previous proposal. The new plans have also eliminated more than 200,000 square feet of office space and added 85 hotel rooms.
At this point, the mixed-use development will include 106,000 square feet of creative workspace, a 280-room hotel, 42,200 square feet of retail space and restaurants, 48 units of affordable housing, a grand plaza, two street-level pocket parks, another park on the second floor, and 12,000 square feet of cultural space.
The Lookout notes that even with a scaled-back design, the project may encounter resistance from residents who argue the entire site should be reimagined as a public park.
In November, Santa Monica voters rejected a ballot measure proposed by opponents of the Plaza at Santa Monica Project. It would have forced developers to get voter approval for most projects taller than 32 feet.