Just 48 hours after convening on Tuesday, Council will meet again on Thursday night for a special meeting to discuss a mixed-use development designed by renowned architect Frank Gehry. During this meeting Council will also make its annual Board and Commission appointments.
The Frank Gehry development—known as the Ocean Avenue Project—is a two acre hotel, apartment, retail and public space project located on the corner of Santa Monica Boulevard and Ocean Avenue.
The project earned high praise from members of the Planning Commission when it sailed through the Commission in May, at one point earning the title of the most perfect project ever seen by six year Commissioner Leslie Lambert.
The project was designed by Gehry himself, who resides in Santa Monica, but has attracted international fame for his structures built across the world including the Dancing House in Prague; the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain; and the Louis Vuitton Foundation in Paris. In Los Angeles, he is best known for designing Walt Disney Concert Hall, home of the Los Angeles Philharmonic.
This project has been in the works for ten years and is currently on track to break ground in mid-2024. It features several structures including a luxury hotel, 25 affordable apartment units, 75 market rate apartment units, a subterranean parking lot, retail space, a “cultural uses campus,” and a publicly-accessible rooftop observation deck offering a 360 degree view of the city and sea.
The development would replace several commercial structures on site, which are currently home to businesses including Blue Plate Oysterette, BOA Steakhouse, Sur Mer Boutique, Brambila Salon and TUMBI. It would also replace 19 rent controlled units, however all tenants are guaranteed a replacement unit at a similar rent once the project is complete.
The site also contains two landmarked residences: a 1906 Queen Anne Style Victorian residence and a 1926 Spanish Colonial style. Both residences would be conserved in the site redevelopment.
The development agreement also contains a generous community benefits package which includes a $6 million contribution to the City, ongoing donations to the school district, on site arts and culture projects, and plans for both water neutrality and 100 percent green power.
During the meeting there will be a public hearing for members of the public to voice their opinions on the project, after which Councilmembers will discuss and vote on the development agreement.
During this meeting Council will also make its annual Board and Commission appointments. This was initially agendized for a June 28 meeting, but rescheduled as Mayor Himmelrich had to leave the meeting early due to health challenges.
During the June 28 meeting appointments were made to the Downtown Santa Monica, Inc. Board and the Airport Commission. During the upcoming meeting appointments will be made to the Architectural Review Board, Arts Commission, Disabilities Commission, Housing Commission, Environmental Commission, Landmarks Commission, Personnel Board, Planning Commission Public Safety Reform and Oversight Commission, Recreation and Parks Commission, Santa Monica Library Board, and Santa Monica Travel & Tourism, Inc.
The meeting will begin at 6 p.m. on Thursday, June 14, and can be streamed live at https://www.youtube.com/user/Citytv16santamonica.