Artistic rendering
Rendering of the development. Credit: Courtesy image

With much of the retail space currently empty along Santa Monica’s once-thriving Third Street Promenade, recent arrivals like the Wilson store, along with new eateries opening at the Kitchen United Mix and forthcoming projects like 1404-1408 Third Street, clearly demonstrate that not all faith has been lost.

Just a few weeks ago, Beverly Hills-based real estate investment banking firm Sonnenblick-Eichner Company announced that it had secured a $27.4-million development loan for a new 25,000-sq-ft retail and office building located at 1404-1408 Third Street.

Conceptual renderings show the newly-designed building as a contemporary three-story structure with a glass facade, a 2,500-square-foot rooftop deck and an impressive frontage of 50 ft along the promenade. Prior to its demolition, the site was shared by Chilli Beans sunglasses store and Lush cosmetics before the 77-year-old building was razed last year by developer Blatteis & Schnur, a 100-year-old retail leasing and brokerage firm.

“Funding a speculative retail development in today’s environment is very challenging, however we were able to identify a lender who understood the unique location of this asset and the strength of the developer as well as their ability to execute on their business plan,” said Sonnenblick-Eichner principal David Sonnenblick in a press release.

Many stores, including big brands like T-Mobile, have opted to forsake the Promenade as thefts continue to plague retailers. Just two weeks ago, the board of Downtown Santa Monica Inc. voted to move forward with an initiative to use the $1.7 million currently funding the Ambassador Program to hire a private security company to help patrol the Third Street Promenade and surrounding area.

Scott fell in love with Santa Monica when he was much younger and now, after living and working in five different countries, he has returned. He's written for the likes of the FT, NBC, the BBC and CNN.