Development: A residential complex is planned for 2906 SM Boulevard. Project rendering courtesy of DFH Architects

The Architecture Review Board reviewed designed plans for two new Mid City developments: an 88 unit residential project at 2906 Santa Monica Blvd. and an office complex at 1633 26th St.

The residential complex is a four story building with ground floor retail and residential units, three levels of above ground residential units and a two level subterranean garage. It is located on the former site of beloved coffee shop Coogie’s Cafe.

Plans for a three-story 46 unit residential complex were approved on the same location in February 2020, however developers have recently been able to take advantage of a new State Density Bonus Law that allows for increased density and height limits in exchange for the inclusion of affordable units.

The revised building plan includes nine affordable units, including four studios, three one bedrooms, one two bedrooms and one three bedroom unit. The other 79 units are market rate and split across 40 studios, 35 one bedrooms, two two bedrooms and two three bedrooms.

“I think it’s a great example of how the added density, the extra floor in this case, actually improves the building, especially on the Boulevard,” said Vice Chair Patrick Tighe. “So I think that’s all good and the building from the outside is a much better version of what we saw before.”

Despite overall approval of the additional floor and units, Board Members were displeased by how the added density limited the size of the interior courtyard common space.

“I think the interior piece, for the small amount of additional residential areas being added, I think it takes a really disproportionate toll on the quality of life and quality of space in the interior,” said Board Member Kevin Daly.

Board members suggested slightly decreasing the size of the units surrounding the courtyard and adding more lush and appropriate plant palettes to improve the communal space. The project was approved by the Board with the condition that DFH Architects incorporate board member suggestions into their future design plans.

The Architecture Review Board also gave approval to a renovation and new construction project for an office structure located a few blocks away at 1633 26th St.

The project includes construction of a new four story 128,311 square foot office building complex as well as the renovation of and additions to an existing three-story 45,429 square foot office building with a central courtyard, ground floor restaurant/retail space, and a three level subterranean parking lot with 399 spaces. The current space is a nondescript office building housing tenants including fintech start-up Tala and investment company Inventure.

The Board had previously reviewed the design plans and provided feedback for the complex in January 2020. Board members were pleased with the revised designs and approved it in line with the conditions stipulated in the staff report.

“The planting palette had me jumping with joy. It is the most fantastic collection of native plants and I really applaud the design team for leading the way with those selections,” said Board Member Joshua Rosen. “I think the exterior modifications and revisions for the landscaping and the architecture are all really thoughtful and beautiful and I think responded to our comments really well.”

Clara@smdp.com