CITY HALL —City Council members voted this week to have a developer come back and address some concerns related to design, economics and accommodating affordable housing as part of a proposed development on City Hall-owned land at the corner of Fourth Street and Arizona Avenue.
In a 5-1 vote, with Councilmember Tony Vazquez absent, council members decided not to go into a development agreement with the team of Metropolitan Pacific Capital, Clarett West and DLJ West Capital, whose proposal is a 12-story development.
Instead, council members asked Metro Pacific and its team, and another developer, Related California, to come back to the council sometime in the future.
There were three proposals to develop the property south of Arizona Avenue, but council members threw out the third because City Hall would be required to pay to build parking.
Councilmember Gleam Davis said the council anticipates both developers would come back with revised projects. Councilmembers hoped the clarifications could be done within three months, but there was no firm date.
For the Metro Pacific project, council members were concerned because there wasn’t enough affordable housing.
The design called for a series of rectangular buildings skewed on an axis comprised of ground-floor retail, office development and proposed residential and flex office space and the upper section would be a hotel, according to city officials.
Jason Harris, the economic development manager for City Hall, said the developer was open to pursuing affordable housing in the development.
“I have to say that the Metro Pacific is a beautiful project and you look at it and it’s stunning architecturally,” Davis said. “The affordable housing is kind of an afterthought … . It’s a little unclear of how many units we are going to get.”
Another concern Davis had was if the council decided to go forward and negotiate, they may not end up with the same project.
“I know we won’t know the answer to all of these questions but I’m feeling a little uncomfortable,” she said. “It may be the most perfect project on this site. But does that make it the right project? No, because there are so many other considerations.”
Meanwhile, Councilmember Kevin McKeown asked city officials what the proposed projects would look like from Fifth Street because he didn’t get a complete perspective on what the project would look like from all angles.
“What does that mean for the south elevation and from Fifth Street looking at those projects? It looks like they have to be almost vertical cliffs on that side,” he said.
For Related, city officials had concerns about the design, size of the project and the open space.
“The height of the project was a concern [for city staff],” Davis said Friday.
Council supports helicopter noise legislation
City Council members last week threw their support behind federal and state legislation that would control helicopter noise over greater Los Angeles.
The bills would include requirements for helicopter flight paths and altitudes to reduce helicopter noise pollution in residential areas, increase safety and minimize scheduled commercial aircraft delays.
Councilman Kevin McKeown said before he brought the bills to the council he thoroughly vetted them with city officials to make sure they wouldn’t negatively affect the rather “complicated relationship” City Hall has with the Federal Aviation Administration. The two have been at odds for years over operations and safety measures at the Santa Monica Airport.
“It doesn’t appear it will,” McKeown said. “We are just asking the council support legislation that is already underway at all federal and state level.”