Santa Monica Finally Approves Massive Expo-Adjacent Bergamot Transit Village
After roughly 7 years of back-and-forth, Santa Monica has finally approved a huge new development at Bergamot Station (at Olympic and 26th). Bergamot currently is home to a mix of art galleries, architecture firms and other creative companies, but with the Expo Line soon to be coming to Santa Monica and increasing demand for live, work and play options in the area, the city finally felt it was time to approve this massive new development. The project will include 427 apartments, 374,434 SF of office, 15,500 SF of restaurants, and 13,891 SF of retail spread across five buildings.
A week after 150 locals swamped a Santa Monica City Council meeting on the massive multi-use Bergamot Transit Village, forcing a delay on any approval or denial for the project, the council on Tuesday finally approved the transformative mixed-use development planned for the Bergamot Arts District and near a forthcoming Expo Line station. Voting 4-3, the council only made minor changes to the plan, with one councilmember asking for more housing—additional units had already been added to the original plan—before withdrawing that motion out of concern the developer would pull out if asked to go back to the drawing board on the five-years-in-the-making project. But the real show was with all the protesters outside, chanting, hitting bongos, and appropriating anti-war slogans (real sign: "Hines Project is not healthy for children and other living things").
Opponents fear—what else?—a trafficpocalypse when Texas-based developer Hines brings five new buildings to Olympic and Twenty-Sixth, with 427 apartments, nearly 375,000 square feet of office space, and about 30,000 square feet of restaurant and retail space. Over the course of the next half-century (really), Hines will spend $32 million on community benefits like affordable housing, education programs for kids, bike sharing, and other traffic fixes. But with enormous NIMBY resistance, expect a lawsuit in 3, 2 ...
Curbed LA 2/5/14
*Shared by Jeff Vertun