Sometimes less is more. Case in point, Santa Monica Place. Our shopping center recently won the 2013 Best-of-the-Best VIVA Global Design and Development Award from the International Council of Shopping Centers.

When the center owner, Macerich, first proposed building three 21-story towers on the site, residents and the Santa Monica Coalition for a Livable City protested mightily. Macerich listened and the plan was abandoned. Instead, Macerich renovated within the footprint of the existing building. This is a shining example of how keeping a project’s scale and relationship to its surroundings can create a win-win situation for both residents and developers.

Current and prospective developers who have projects in Santa Monica would be wise to take note. Projects massively out of scale for Santa Monica with unacceptable impacts result in community-wide opposition and successful lawsuits by residents protecting their quality of life. The developer of the Miramar Hotel could also benefit from this lesson. Kudos to Macerich on this award.


Sherrill Kushner

Santa Monica

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