As a Sunset Park homeowner and an urban planner, I would like to express my strong support for the project proposed by SanMon, Inc. There are a few reasons for this:
1) I was recently shocked to learn that Santa Monica’s population has barely grown since the 1970s. For a city that claims to welcome all, this is a total embarrassment! The city badly needs to build more housing – of all kinds, but especially apartment buildings.
2) Lincoln Blvd is the ugliest street in Santa Monica. It is too wide and has too much fast-moving traffic. Building residential and street-fronting retail, coupled with wider sidewalks, street trees, and traffic calming measures, will have a positive effect on the whole community.
3) Old-style shopping centers like the one proposed to be torn down have no place in Santa Monica. Surface parking lots are a tremendous waste of space and cause a huge amount of traffic and pollution.
I do have reservations about some aspects of the project, namely, the need for 880 parking spaces. The area has good transit accessibility as well as bike lanes. I would like to see the parking cut to around half of that, 440, with mandatory decoupling (e.g. the parking spaces are to be sold separately from the dwelling units). Any above-ground space reclaimed from parking should go to additional retail.
Boris Suchkov, Santa Monica