The Saga of Parking Structure 3 may have concluded with the facility’s demolition but efforts to rebuild the site into an affordable housing development are moving forward with another community meeting on the project scheduled for April 17.
Plans to demolish the structure were first approved in 2019 with a plan to convert the space in to an affordable housing development that prioritized proposals for permanent supportive housing — affordable housing that includes services that keep chronically homeless individuals housed.
The project was initially delayed by the pandemic and then by lawsuits filed by critics of the proposal who said the removal of parking would harm downtown businesses. Those lawsuits were unsuccessful and work began on the demolition last year.
Council chose EAH as the affordable housing provider for the program. Founded in 1968, EAH owns and/or manages housing for 22,000 residents in more than 100 properties across 55 municipalities in California and Hawaii, including in Santa Monica.
In its proposal, EAH named local homeless outreach organization The People Concern (TPC) as its social service partner. Together, EAH and TPC proposed to provide services to all residents, which include “physical and mental health services, education programming, civic engagement, and healthy eating,” according to their application.
The People Concern said they would provide personal case management, benefits counseling, mental health counseling, health care, substance use services, money management and legal assistance to those who needed it in the building.
Signage posted at the site says the project will be 122 units with ground floor retail and two levels of parking.
According to the project website, 50 of those units will specifically support currently homeless individuals.
“The vision for 1318 4th St. is to create a mixed-use, mixed- income community in the heart of Downtown Santa Monica just one block from the world famous Third Street Promenade,” reads the project description. “The development will provide affordable homes to low-income families and individuals already living or working in Santa Monica as well as 50 individuals that are currently homeless in Santa Monica. The mix of unit types will serve the wide-ranging needs of Santa Monica’s low-income residents, and the property will include a community room for gatherings and services programming. To create and foster a cohesive, stable community, at least three full time services staff will offer supportive services to all residents and host community events and meetings.”
The ground floor retail will cover about 19,600 square feet alongside 1,630 square feet of community benefit space that could be offered to a local nonprofit, the Santa Monica Police Department, or an alternative needed use in the downtown area.
After several meetings with specific groups, the developers will hold their next community meeting on April 17, from 6 – 8 p.m. at St. Monica Catholic Church, 725 California Avenue. More information is available online at https://www.eahhousing.org/4thstreet/.