Plans for a proposed office building coming to Euclid Street near the Metro Expo line imagine outdoor dining space spilling out onto Colorado Avenue, framed by curving wood slats and large open windows.

The Planning Commission will review plans for the three-story, 36,000 square foot, mixed use office building coming to 1550 Euclid Street Wednesday.  In its current form, the project includes three levels of underground parking with 91 spaces.  The parcel is just three blocks away from the 17th Street Metro stop and surrounded by other creative office space on Colorado and housing on Euclid.

The architecture firm is aiming to achieve a goal of the LUCE to “design new buildings fronting on the light rail line to have their primary facades facing the avenue to create an enhanced pedestrian experience.”  A mock-up of the plans promises to “activate the street” along the Expo line with a wide sidewalk while providing a second story patio for office workers to enjoy.

The front half of the structure will be two-story and the northern portion will be three stories.  A smaller outdoor terrace is planned for the third story providing additional setback adjacent to apartment buildings next door on Euclid.

“The courtyard at the second level also provides great opportunities for daylight and natural ventilation as well as direct access to the outdoors throughout the building,” according to plans provided to the public from Santa Monica based Belzberg Architects.

The building is owned by Watt Companies, one of the nation’s largest developers of commercial real estate on the West Coast, according to documents provided by the California Secretary of State.  The company is based in Santa Monica.

The Development Review Permit process allows the Commission input on the location, size, massing and placement of the building on the site.   The Commission will consider whether the building is appropriate for the neighborhood and weigh additional community benefits.

The existing building is a single-story office building and surface parking lot that was built in 1930’s for the Santa Monica Ice and Cold Storage Company.  Three people work there at this time, according to City documents.  A chain-link fence encircles most of the property at the moment.

Because of the proposed building’s size, the owner will likely end up paying over a million dollars in fees to benefit the community, including half a million dollars toward affordable housing, about half a million toward transportation impacts and about $100,000 toward Parks and Recreation, according to City staff estimates.

The new office space and proposed restaurant could generate as many as 607 car trips a day, according to estimates by the City’s Travel Demand Forecast Model.  The City considers those traffic impacts “less than significant” according to an initial study of the issue by the Planning Department.

The Planning Commission will meet Wednesday, Nov. 1, at 7 p.m. at the Martin Luther King Jr. Auditorium at the Main Library, 601 Santa Monica Boulevard.

Kate Cagle

Senior reporter for the Santa Monica Daily Press