garden: The project at 4th and Montana has undergone some minor revisions since its last hearing.

A two-story office building is replacing a parking lot on Main Street.

The 4,388 square-foot building will rise at 2740 Main St. in Ocean Park. It will be fronted with gray brick veneer surrounding floor-to-ceiling windows framed in black steel. The second level is set back and sits below a rooftop deck, which features an aluminum trellis that supports solar panels. The project will also include 19 parking spots and several trees.

“The project provides a flexible open commercial space with a modern sensibility that is appropriate to the context of Santa Monica’s Main Street,” associate planner Gina Szilak wrote in a report to the Architectural Review Board (ARB), which will provide feedback on the design of the building at its Monday meeting.

Szilak wrote that the building will fit in on Main Street.

“Main Street from Pico Boulevard to Marine Street retains an eclectic one-story character of a 1920s street though most of the buildings have been renovated … along the ground floor,” she wrote. “The proposed building’s mass and scale and its relationship to the street will be comparable to the existing Main Street fabric although the building’s appearance is modern.”

Two much-discussed projects will also reach the ARB on Monday. The Rainbow Garden, an educational garden and kitchen for elementary schoolers that will replace a vacant apartment building at Montana Avenue and 4th Street, gained approval from the Planning Commission in January despite concerns from neighbors about noise and parking.

Commissioners praised the idea of providing free food education to local children and asked applicants Thao and Sherman Ma to refine the design to convey a consistent landscape concept and make the side of lot facing 4th Street more pedestrian-friendly.

Since the Planning Commission review, the Mas’ architect, Marmol Radziner, has added windows to the sides of the building facing 4th Street and the alley. Radziner also added wood panels and red trim to the previously all-black, corrugated metal facade, and interspersed the black chicken wire fence that was proposed with hedges, wood panels and low walls of black brick.

The landscaping has also been redefined. Renderings submitted to the Planning Commission showed an edible garden extending to the sidewalk, but new renderings include a stonefruit orchard facing Montana Avenue.

“The proposed garden strives to integrate a strong landscaping plan designed to engage children with a low-key building that is bright, airy and functional,” senior planner Elizabeth Bar-El wrote. “The building materials have been selected to reinforce the purpose of the school as a learning garden.”

The long-awaited City Yards revamp will come before the board Monday. Most essential services the City of Santa Monica provides operate out of City Yards, including street maintenance, custodial services and traffic operations. It’s been slated for a $115 million reboot since 2015 and the Planning Commission granted the project a development review permit on Jan. 16.

Michigan Avenue along City Yards will look altogether different. The long, windowless building will be replaced with several buildings interspersed with fenced openings that are meant to provide windows into daily life at the yards. Landscaping, including trees, will be planted along the stretch, which will terminate at a plaza with seating.

Bar-El wrote that the plaza is a major improvement over the current entrance to the yards, but will need some design changes.

“The plaza design may consist of too many raised planters and may lack additional details that would improve its use as a functional plaza and gathering place,” she wrote. “For instance, benches could be rearranged for pairs or groups of people to sit together, and trees could be strategically placed to provide shade. In addition, the design as proposed might create hiding places.”

Bar-El also wrote that the buildings alone Michigan should feature some points of visual interest. At its January meeting, the Planning Commission asked the ARB to consider installing art on and between the buildings along Michigan Avenue.

“Staff is recommending … providing some individuality to the Facilities Buildings reflective of their distinct purposes through providing windows, differentiating building material and or incorporation of art,” she wrote.”

The board will meet at 7 p.m. on Monday at City Hall.

madeleine@smdp.com

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