The City of Santa Monica is reviewing an application for a five-story mixed-used retail/residential property at 407 Colorado, on the corner of 4th Street and Colorado Avenue, after developer Worthe Real Estate Group submitted an application to redevelop the shuttered BancWest property earlier this month.

The proposed property includes 60 residential units, with about half of them studios and half of them one-bedrooms. Six of the one-bedroom units would be designated affordable housing for Very Low Income households. The building would also house close to 7,000 square feet of commercial space, with preliminary architectural drawings showing a coffee shop on the ground floor. There is no vehicle parking included in the application.

“The project site is located in the transit adjacent zone of Downtown Santa Monica, directly across from the Downtown station for the Metro E Line,” according to the project’s website, “The proposed project will provide 20 short-term bicycle parking spaces for both residential and commercial uses. The project is eligible for relief from certain development standards pursuant to the state density bonus law.”

The density bonus law, or SDBL, permits certain residential/mixed-use projects to exceed maximum floor area ratio (FAR) limits due to factors including transit accessibility and affordability of units. The FAR, usually capped at 2.25, is estimated at 2.87 for the project as submitted. Applicants pointed out in their paperwork with the City that the maximum FAR permitted for the site would be 3.15 — “at a 2.87 FAR, the project as proposed will not utilize the full 50% residential FAR bonus.” 

The total square footage for the desired project is 43,047 sq. ft.; of that, 36,166 sq. ft. would be residential and 6,881 would be retail.

Applicants hosted a community meeting about the project via Zoom on Feb. 7, but declined to make a recording of that meeting available to the Daily Press. 

Notes from the community meeting that are included in the development’s application show project spokespeople responding to questions posed by two attendees. 

“What kind of retail do you imagine for the ground floor?” one attendee, identified as Mary Ann, asked. 

“Best guess would be food-related uses, likely grab and go due to high pedestrian traffic from the train to the pier,” reads a summary of the answer provided by Jeff Worthe of Worthe Real Estate Group. “Having recently walked the Promenade on a weekend, was surprised how much vacancy remains in retail market currently.”

The other attendee who spoke, Gitta Walton, said she felt as though she was “being surrounded by thousands of people in new buildings and they’re not people that settle down and have kids.” However, Walton said she figured that was the way life went.

When asked for comment, a spokesperson for the project said they felt the development was a great fit for Downtown Santa Monica, especially in light of Santa Monica’s need for additional housing to meet RHNA — Regional Housing Needs Allocation — obligations from the State of California.

The current project application, submitted March 10, seeks administrative approval for the project, the first step in moving forward with replacing the long-shuttered bank building on the corner of 4th and Colorado.