WILSHIRE BLVD — The owners of the Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows have their architect.
Pelli Clarke Pelli, an internationally recognized firm, will take the design reigns of the project envisioned for the corner of Wilshire Boulevard and Ocean Avenue.
Cesar Pelli and his son, Rafael Pelli, lived in Santa Monica for many years, said Alan Epstein, a representative of the hotel owner Ocean Avenue LLC.
“Many of my fondest memories growing up nearby are of the area all around the Miramar — Palisades Park, Third Street, the pier,” Rafael Pelli said in a release. “It is a special place that requires a special vision.”
The hotel is financed by billionaire Michael Dell, founder of Dell Inc., the personal computer company.
The public has seen two designs for the building since its float-up meeting in 2011. No sketches were released along with announcement of the hiring of Pelli Clarke Pelli.
The most recent designs released by the hotel owners included 280 hotel rooms and up to 120 luxury condominiums. A 21-story tower would sit where the 10-story building is currently located. They plan to build a subterranean parking garage. The hiring of Pelli Clarke Pelli does not change any of these basic figures.
The Miramar redo is currently in the environmental review stage with city planners.
Some residents have complained that the initial designs are too tall for Santa Monica and have called for a shorter, less dense design that would not include condos.
Pelli Clarke Pelli is responsible for numerous world-renowned designs, including the Petronas Towers, two of the tallest buildings in the world. Located in Kuala Lumpur, they were the tallest buildings in the world from 1998 to 2004, according to ArchDaily, an architecture publication.
The firm also designed the Bloomberg Tower and the Winter Garden at the World Financial Center, both in New York City.
“Our goal has long been to return the Miramar to its rightful place as one of the greatest luxury hotels in Southern California, while increasing open space, protecting ocean views for the community and returning the Moreton Bay Fig tree to public view,” Epstein said.