The City of Santa Monica is reviewing plans for two mixed-use buildings that will bring hundreds of new residents to Ocean Park and Mid-City.
On Monday, the Architectural Review Board approved the design of a 47-unit project at 2903 Lincoln Boulevard in Ocean Park after its architect made modifications the Board requested at its Sept. 17 meeting. It conducted a preliminary review of a 53-unit building at 3223 Wilshire Boulevard near the border of Mid-City and Brentwood, making several suggestions to adjust its design.
The façade of the four-story Ocean Park building is made up of fluted metal siding with royal blue alcoves and balconies. The ground floor is comprised of 16,755 square feet of commercial space and a 1,494 square feet plaza on Lincoln Boulevard.
The building’s subterranean garage will house 151 and 98 parking spaces for cars and bicycles, respectively.
At its September meeting, the Board made several recommendations to soften the appearance of the building for pedestrians by breaking up the façade and adding more color. The architect added a living wall along Lincoln but did not make any other changes to the façade, and the Board approved the new version with the condition that the ground floor should be more welcoming to pedestrians and asked that trees be planted near the commercial area.
“The conditions reflect that (the Board) wanted the project to go a little further in the direction they previously recommended,” said Stephanie Reich, the City’s urban designer.
The building will be located a few blocks from Olympic High School and will replace an auto repair lot and plumbing supplies store.
The Board gave preliminary design feedback for a four-story building at 3223 Wilshire Boulevard that would supplant an aahs! gift store. Like the Lincoln Boulevard project, it would include ample commercial space and a plaza on the ground floor.
“The proposed use of folding doors as retail storefronts creates a unique opportunity to create an intimate and unique public gathering space that engages the public realm of the street,” senior planner Scott Albright wrote in a report. “The seamless transition from outdoor to indoor space will make the plaza feel much larger than its actual 1,500 square foot size.”
Ceramic tile and suspended glass balconies will cover the building’s façade. The architect indicated that the design is meant to bring to mind the Santa Monica Mountains and bay, but the Board said that inspiration was not apparent in the project. It also made suggestions to move some balconies and sunshades to take advantage of views from the apartments.
Nearby residents said at the Monday meeting they are concerned about the impact the occupants of the 53 apartments will have on parking and traffic in the area, issues that are outside the Board’s purview.