A rendering of The Park, a project under construction near the E Line terminus. (Witkoff)

A large development at 500 Broadway that has been in the works for five years officially has a name and an opening date.

The 249 apartments in The Park will be ready for leasing by late 2021, developer Witkoff announced Thursday ahead of a groundbreaking ceremony that evening. The seven-story project at Fred Segal’s former Downtown Santa Monica location will also contain 55,000 square feet of retail space and a four-level, 500-car underground parking structure.

Witkoff plans to mitigate traffic impacts on the neighborhood with a transportation information center within the building, transportation allowances for employees and residents equivalent to 100% of the cost of a monthly regional transit pass and bike parking — all with the goal of limiting evening car travel to less than 308 trips per day.

If the project does not meet its traffic management goals, it must bring car trips below the levels set in its development agreement or pay a daily fine.

Local architectural firm Koning Eizenberg has designed The Park as four 84-foot-tall masses connected by pedestrian bridges. Each mass will be topped by a park inspired by a different environment: garden, oasis, farm or field.

“The Park introduces a new paradigm for achieving density while still respecting Downtown Santa Monica’s low-scale character,” said Hank Koning, founding principal of Koning Eizenberg. “Our faceted approach to the facade … will transform 5th Street into a wonderful pedestrian experience that connects the Downtown residential community to the Expo Line.”

Residents will also be able to use outdoor courtyards between each mass and a communal lounge and library on the ground floor. A plaza and walkway through the building on the lower level will be accessible to the public.

“We conceived The Park as a complete neighborhood concept, or ‘a community within a community’,” said executive vice president Alex Witkoff. “Our aim is to create an inviting destination for the broader community as well as a sophisticated, engaging residential experience.”

Witkoff satisfied the city of Santa Monica’s affordable housing requirements for new developments by providing about $40 million in funding for a 64-unit development several blocks away from The Park that is reserved for low-income individuals and families.

The five-story development at 1626 Lincoln Blvd., which was designed by Koning Eizenberg and is called The Arroyo, opened last December.

The city also required Witkoff to pay $6.4 million into its transportation, parks, education, affordable housing, historic preservation and environmental funds, as well as include sustainability elements like solar panels and low-water landscaping in The Park itself.

The Park will rise across the street from WS Communities’ planned eight-story mixed-use development that will replace an existing one-story commercial building at 501 Broadway with 94 apartments and 7,260 square feet of commercial space.


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