Trader Joe’s is moving ahead with plans to open its second Santa Monica location at the corner of 23rd Street and Wilshire Boulevard.

The grocery store will occupy the ground floor of a building at 2300 Wilshire. It will share the three-story building, which stretches the length of the block, with 30 rental apartments and at least one other commercial tenant. The store will open across the street from a Whole Foods and a few blocks away from upscale grocer Erewhon, which opened in April.

Santa Monica’s other Trader Joe’s is located at Pico Boulevard and 32nd Street. The city almost got another store in 2001 but the Planning Commission said the proposed site at Wilshire and 12th Street didn’t have enough parking. 2300 Wilshire has more than enough parking spaces, however.

The Planning Commission will review the store’s application for a permit to sell a full range of alcohol for off-site consumption at its Thursday meeting. Seven other nearby businesses sell alcohol, including Whole Foods, O’Brien’s Irish Pub and Michaels Liquor, and acting planning manager Roxanne Tanemori recommended the commission approve the permit.

The commission will also review applications to build 19 condominiums in the Pico neighborhood, a 63-unit building near Bergamot Station and a Jeep dealership in Mid-City. The dealership at 1802 Santa Monica Blvd. would be two stories tall and abut several other car dealerships.

Developer Behzad Soroudi originally planned to build 21 condos in a two-story building at the corner of Virginia Avenue and 21st Street, off Pico Boulevard, and designate two of them as affordable. In 2014, the Planning Commission asked him to remove two condos to make the design of the building more consistent with the neighborhood and improve the site’s landscaping. Soroudi then elected to pay an in-lieu fee to the City of Santa Monica’s affordable housing fund.

But when Soroudi returned to the Planning Commission in February, several Pico residents said they were concerned that the commission had allowed the affordable units originally proposed to be eliminated, given that the condos will replace 15 rent-controlled units spread across six one-story buildings on the site. Pico Neighborhood Association co-chair Oscar de la Torre said he felt the project would accelerate gentrification in the area.

In response, the commission passed a motion to direct City staff to work with Soroudi on how to incorporate affordable units, possibly by compromising on the building’s distance from the street.

The proposal Soroudi has submitted to the commission for reconsideration remains unchanged, however. The City also prepared another environmental impact report for the project that concluded it would demolish two structures of merit, 2002 and 2008 21st St., and that construction would cause ground vibrations.

The owner of the Extra Space Storage facility at 1707 Cloverfield Blvd. is replacing a parking lot at the back of the property with a five-story, 63-unit building with 940 square feet of ground-floor commercial space and 116 parking spaces on two basement levels. Five of the units would be affordable.

“The proposed building is contemporary in design featuring a triangular building form segmented by a series of recessed openings along with vertical landscaping to screen and buffer the residential levels from the adjacent Expo Line,” acting principal planner Grace Page wrote in a report on the project. “Dark burnished wood planks, corrugated metal panels and corten steel accents are utilized to provide an industrial and railroad inspired aesthetic.”

The project will join several other developments planned around Bergamot Station, including Millennium Santa Monica at 2930 Colorado Ave., 3030 Nebraska Ave., 1450 Cloverfield Blvd., 2225 Broadway and 1618 Stanford St.

The Planning Commission will meet on April 17 at 7:30 p.m. in City Hall, 1685 Main Street.

madeleine@smdp.com

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2 Comments

  1. I’m curious which of our esteemed city council members have pushed for large housing projects in their neighborhoods? Seems to me that Montana is a great location for a couple large developments and upscale car dealerships…curious none of the three NOMO council members have noticed the opportunity there. #districtelections.

  2. Why the clickbait title? They’re not getting a liquor license to serve alcohol but just to sell it for off-site consumption? Line every other grocery store?

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