Denny's on Lincoln Boulevard. (Daniel Archuleta)
Denny's on Lincoln Boulevard. (Daniel Archuleta)
Denny’s on Lincoln Boulevard. (Daniel Archuleta)

LINCOLN BLVD — Diners yesterday, dwellings tomorrow. The Planning Commission considered two mixed-use developments along Lincoln Boulevard.

One would be constructed where Norms served pancakes for 49 years before its closure last year. The other would replace a currently-pancake-serving Denny’s.

These are the first two projects proposed as a part of City Hall’s long-term plan for a residential mixed-use corridor along Lincoln near the incoming Expo Light Rail station.

Developers brought the projects before the commission for a float up, allowing commissioners to comment on the early designs before beginning negotiations with City Hall.

The Norms project would add 90 apartments and 10,700 square feet of ground floor commercial space across two buildings, one with five stories, the other with four. It would also add 168 parking spaces in a two level underground garage.

The taller of the two buildings would stand at 57 feet, beyond the 32-foot limits allowed in pending and current city planning documents for a development of its type. Developers can work outside of zoning requirements if they propose community benefits that elected and appointed officials deem worthy of the trade-off.

Developer FSTAR proposes 18 affordable housing units, nine available to individuals with very low income and nine to those with moderate incomes.

During the public input portion of the meeting Carol Lemlein, head of the Santa Monica Conservancy, asked commissioners to push for community benefits that would be put toward historic preservation.

The Denny’s project would add about 100 apartments, 11,500 square feet of ground floor commercial space, and a three-level underground parking garage.

The building would have five stories and be 60 feet tall.

Commissioners were critical of the design, noting that it’s inconsistent with surrounding buildings and with parts of key planning documents. Commissioners wanted to see, for instance, more greenspace in the project.

The project included 20 affordable housing units, 15 of which would be available to low-income residents. The developer, NMS Properties, is one of the largest housing developers in Santa Monica.

The projects will come back to the commission after a negotiations process with City Hall. From there it will head to City Council for final approval.


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