Civic Center will have to learn new tricks to survive

MAIN LIBRARY ‚Äî The Santa Monica Civic Center Auditorium can survive past its planned June closure, but it will have to revolutionize its layout, amenities and management structure if it plans to compete with other entertainment facilities in Los Angeles, a team of policy experts told residents Friday afternoon. Members of the Public... Read more →


Santa Monica tourism industry focuses on foreign flavor

Tourists watch as Santa Monica street performer Zhang Hong Cao creates artistic representations of their names at the Pier on Thursday afternoon. (Photo by Brandon Wise) PICO BLVD ‚Äî Roughly 7.3 million visitors from outside Los Angeles County pumped $1.5 billion into the local economy in 2012, an almost 10 percent increase over the... Read more →


UCLA Family Commons to close doors

People attend the opening of UCLA Family Commons in 2009. (File photo) SECOND STREET ‚Äî A family wellness center known for its unique blend of mental health services and family coaching announced last week that it would close its doors after three years in the Santa Monica community. The UCLA Family Commons, located on the 1200... Read more →



After 49 years, Norms to close in July

EATERY SET TO MOVE ON: The Norms on Lincoln Boulevard is slated to close in July. (Photo by Alex Vejar) LINCOLN BLVD ‚Äî Seniors who love their early-bird specials and late-night revelers fond of soaking up suds with a plate of hot cakes have to find a new place to dine. Executives with Southern California restaurant chain Norms... Read more →



Community divided over Downtown’s future

A woman walks by Fred Segal on Tuesday. The location is considered an 'opportunity site' for redevelopment by city planners. (Photo by Daniel Archuleta) CIVIC CENTER ‚Ä Nearly 300 people Monday packed a town hall meeting at the Civic Auditorium to discuss future development in Downtown, a conversation that showed a community... Read more →


Rent Control Board to discuss new fee for landlords

(File photo) CITY HALL ‚Äî The Rent Control Board will discuss a proposal Thursday to close a half-million dollar gap in its budget by raising registration fees and, for the first time, forcing landlords to share in some of those costs. The measure would bring an annual registration fee levied on Santa Monica‚Äôs estimated... Read more →



Realtors target small homes for redevelopment

File photo CITYWIDE ‚Ä Santa Monicans are being targeted by real estate agents representing developers looking to turn small homes in desirable neighborhoods into mini-mansions that can be sold for double the original asking price. The agents tend to single out older homes, often taking up a relatively small portion of the... Read more →


Sisters take over local sweet spot

MONTANA AVE ‚Äî All Suzanne Kempf needed was a cake for a party, not having time to bake one herself. When a friend suggested she visit cake shop Nothing Bundt Cakes, little did she know that it would lead to a whole new career for her and her sister, Cindy Burger. Suzanne Kempf (pictured) and her sister Cindy Burger moved back to... Read more →


Brief: Red Cross to shut down for renovations

File photo The Santa Monica Red Cross needs a transfusion of nails, lumber and labor ‚Äî stat. The branch will be closed for the month of May and into June for renovations. The goal is to make the branch more user friendly, said Julie Thomas, CEO of the Santa Monica branch. The location rejuvenation will include a customer... Read more →


Rents to increase by 1%

File photo Landlords will be able to increase their tenants‚Äô rents by 1 percent this year, according to a release by the Rent Control Board. The increase, called a general adjustment, is effective Sept. 1, although the board will consider a cap on the total dollar amount of the rise at a public hearing on June 13. For the... Read more →


Santa Monica Clock Tower sells for $34.3M

Santa Monica Clock Tower (Photo by Daniel Archuleta) An Italian real estate investment firm that has a love for historic buildings has purchased the Santa Monica Clock Tower in Downtown for $34.3 million, officials said. A private investor sold the 12-story, 53,465-square-foot office building at 221-225 Santa Monica Blvd. to the... Read more →


Pier construction underway

SM PIER ‚Ä Construction began Thursday on a project to replace a large section of the Santa Monica Pier in an effort to preserve and maintain the historic structure. The $8.5 million job involves the demolition and replacement of 365 feet of the pier between the high tide line and the concrete westerly portion of the... Read more →