A four-story building will replace a popular gift store on Wilshire Boulevard, near Santa Monica’s border with Los Angeles.

The building at 3223 Wilshire Blvd. will add 53 apartments, four of which will be affordable to households earning 30 percent of the area median income, and about 5,400 square feet of commercial space to Northeast Santa Monica. It will include 111 parking spaces in an underground garage. Because of the building’s proposed height of almost 50 feet and relatively high density, the Planning Commission will vote whether to grant the project a development review permit at its Wednesday meeting.

The building is broken into two structures and the facade of the upper three stories consists of ceramic tiles and aluminum windows and balconies. The ground floor is made up of glass storefronts framed with wood paneling.

The development will rise within a block of BevMo!, CVS and Bristol Farms and replace a two-story building built in 1955 that currently houses the gift store Aahs.

“The project would also function as a buffer between the low-scale primarily single-unit residential neighborhood north of the site and the taller office buildings … found along Wilshire Boulevard immediately to the east within the City of Los Angeles.”

The developer, Cypress Equity Investments, has presented the project to the Northeast Neighbors neighborhood association and has worked with the organization to resolve concerns it has raised with the building’s design and scale, according to a staff report on the project. The group generally supported the project but felt the location of the windows would create privacy issues for neighbors.

“Additionally, the neighbors are concerned with the potential impacts to existing on-street parking given the neighborhood experiences high parking demand,” the report said. “The applicant has expressed a willingness to address the parking concern by voluntarily recording a deed restriction that would prohibit residents of the project from applying for preferential on-street parking permits within the local neighborhood.”


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