Business

Housing for mentally ill homeless breaks ground

COLORADO AVE — The Santa Monica-based nonprofit Step Up On Second, which provides support for homeless people suffering from mental illnesses, broke ground Friday on a new, $14 million housing project called Step Up on Colorado. When completed, this is what the housing project will look like. (Rendering courtesy Step Up on... Read more →

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Tommy’s burgers may get booted for Starbucks

Tommy's may be on its way out. Daniel Archuleta daniela@SMDP.com LINCOLN BLVD — Quick, pack your freezer full of chili burgers. Tommy’s Original World Famous Hamburgers on Lincoln Boulevard, which opened 20 years ago next month, may be on its way out. The landlord, Felfam, is interested in bringing in a Starbucks. Tommy’s is... Read more →

Business

GoCoin moves from incubator space to larger digs

Daniel Archuleta daniela@smdp.comPLACE OF BUSINESS: GoCoin, an international payment services company, signed a lease in this building located at 227 Broadway. (Daniel Archuleta) DOWNTOWN — A Santa Monica-based technology company specializing in digital currency has outgrown the nursery. GoCoin, a payment processing site like Paypal... Read more →

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Brief: Activists plan referendum signing parties

Protesters gather outside of a recent City Council meeting. (Paul Alvarez Jr.) A group of community activists attempting to qualify a referendum for a special election to block a City Council-approved development is hosting a series of petition signing parties across the city on Saturday, Feb. 22. The Bergamot Transit Village... Read more →

Business

DoubleTree employees file labor complaints

STOKING THE CROWD: Local hotel workers and union organizers staged a protest outside of the DoubleTree Suites on Tuesday afternoon claiming that hotel management didn't provide them with adequate break times. (Daniel Archuleta daniela@smdp.com) DOWNTOWN — Housekeepers and servers employed by the DoubleTree Suites in Santa Monica said... Read more →

Business

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Cabbies, passengers say cookies still a problem

CITYWIDE — Andrea Lines just wanted to ride in a cab. An employee of a local technology company, she was paying for a trip to the Los Angeles International Airport but it still bothered her that the town cars were, by her estimate, 25 percent more expensive than taxis. Visiting the city by the sea from Europe on business, Lines was... Read more →

Business

Startup Cogo connects fans, entertainers for fundraising

SILICON BEACH — For the more digitally inclined, imagine live streaming video combined with Kickstarter or Indiegogo. For the less digitally inclined, imagine a good old fashion telethon but on a computer.  That’s kind of like Cogo, a Santa Monica-based startup that helps entertainers raise money for causes. Last week, the fundraising... Read more →

Business

Planning Commission OK with pot shops

CITY HALL — Medical marijuana dispensaries had wide approval from the Planning Commission Wednesday night. Despite recommendations against the pot shops made by Police Chief Jacqueline Seabrooks and city planners, five of the six present commissioners supported allowing two within a district near the city’s two hospitals. Chair... Read more →

Business

Brief: Have a heart for youth center

The work of more than 40 local artists will be featured in a silent auction to benefit services for local youth who attend the Pico Youth & Family Center in Santa Monica. PYFC will host its Fifth Annual Art for Hearts Benefit on Saturday, from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. at the Jeanie Madsen Gallery located at 1431 Ocean Ave. Art for Hearts... Read more →

Business

City Hall takes on gold, silver dealer

CITY HALL — One of the nation’s largest precious metals dealers is being sued by City Hall for allegedly engaging in a nationwide “bait and switch scam” by using false, deceptive and aggressive sales tactics to trick customers into buying heavily marked-up collector coins instead of gold or silver bars. The Consumer Protection Unit... Read more →

Business

Sony leaving Santa Monica for Playa Vista

Santa Monica Studios (which will keep the name despite the Playa Vista address) is responsible for popular games like 'Kinetica' and 'God of War.' (Image courtesy Sony) MID-CITY — A big player in Sony’s video game division is leaving the city and taking our name with it. Santa Monica Studios, owned by Sony Computer Entertainment,... Read more →

Business

International tourism continues to rise

THE SPOT: Tourists and locals seek cool waters at the beach to fight the heat. (File photo) CITYWIDE — More than half the tourists who visited Santa Monica this past fall were from another country. International tourists made up 56 percent of the total share, up from the fall of 2012, according to Santa Monica Convention and Visitors... Read more →

Business

Development opponents prepare for fight

CITYWIDE — If you think of the public outcry over the Hines development project as a storm, we are likely in the eye of it. Santa Monica’s City Council approved the 765,000-square-foot project for the corner of Olympic Boulevard and 26th Street in a 4 to 3 vote earlier this week despite a large protest against the project held on the... Read more →

Business

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Planning officials say no to pot shops

CITY HALL — Planning officials are harshin’ Santa Monica’s mellow. The Planning Commission will soon consider adding medical marijuana dispensaries to the upcoming zoning ordinance, which regulates how city land can be used, but city planners are recommending against it. In a report for next week’s commission meeting, planning... Read more →