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Rendering of the renovation to the Fairmont Miramar Hotel in Santa Monica.
Rendering Courtesy of the Fairmont Miramar Hotel
Rendering of the renovation to the Fairmont Miramar Hotel in Santa Monica.

City Council, Downtown, Development, Opinion, Editorial, Santa Monica, Miramar, Hotels

Letter To The Editor: Miramar Expansion Will Enhance Downtown Santa Monica

Rendering of the renovation to the courtyard of the Fairmont Miramar Hotel.
Rendering Courtesy of the Fairmont Miramar Hotel
Rendering of the renovation to the courtyard of the Fairmont Miramar Hotel.

Posted Apr. 24, 2012, 12:43 am

Special To The Mirror

Editor:

The Miramar Hotel, a member of the Santa Monica family for generations, is proposing to make changes to its property that will enhance our Downtown, create a gateway to our city and deliver much-needed benefits to the people of Santa Monica.

The Friends of the Miramar is a broad-based coalition that came together last fall to support the proposed plan. We’re proud that the group’s membership now exceeds 500, and continues to grow. We back the proposal for many reasons, including:

• Revenues that will serve our community. We believe that our children, seniors and all Santa Monicans deserve to benefit from the tens of millions of new tax dollars that the Miramar will generate over the coming decades for vital city services — our schools, police and fire protection, libraries, and more.

• Community. The Miramar Hotel has been a responsible and involved corporate citizen in our community for many years. The hotel has donated significant time and resources to more than 50 diverse, local organizations, including Olympic High School, Pico Youth & Family Center, Heal the Bay, PAL, Community for Excellent Public Schools (CEPS), Upward Bound House, Meals on Wheels West and many others. We want the hotel to continue serving our community by staying relevant and competitive.

• The LUCE. The proposed plan is consistent with the new LUCE’s vision of Downtown Santa Monica as a vibrant, mixed-use place, and was guided by the LUCE’s progressive goals, objectives and policies.

• Improved parking. The proposed project will remedy what is currently a severe parking shortage at the hotel, freeing up many parking spaces on local streets for neighbors and visitors to Downtown Santa Monica.

• The revitalized hotel will be pedestrian- and bicycle-friendly. The proposed plan opens up the Miramar to pedestrians by removing many of the walls and other structures that currently surround the hotel. The proposed project will replace two unsightly parking lots on Wilshire Boulevard with ground floor retail shops, enlivening the street. The Miramar has agreed to expand its existing bicycle program by including bicycle parking for employees and residents, shower and locker facilitiesfor employees, and additional bicycle parking for visitors and guests.

• Affordable Housing. The Miramar revitalization plan includes onsite affordable housing, an invaluable benefit to our community.

• Historic preservation. We’re pleased that the Miramar’s stately Moreton Bay Fig Tree, a City landmark since 1976, will be a prominent part of the proposed new open space. The Palisades Wing, originally constructed in 1924, will also be preserved and renovated.

• Union jobs. The Miramar will continue to operate as a union hotel. As currently planned, the revitalization will create approximately 150 new jobs.

• Outreach to the community. For nearly 2 years the Miramar team has conducted extensive outreach to a wide cross-section of local residents, businesses and education leaders to present the proposed project in detail and to solicit input. It is significant that the proposed Miramar project has earned the endorsements of Wilshire-Montana.

Neighborhood Coalition (Wilmont), the Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce, UNITE HERE Local 11, and Downtown Santa Monica Inc.

We urge Santa Monicans to join us in supporting this important project.

Albin Gielicz, Rebecca Kennerly, Nat Trives, Irene Zivi - Co-Chairs, Friends of the Miramar

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Comments

Apr. 24, 2012, 8:13:01 am

Adam Rakunas said...

This proposed hotel expansion is going to create a traffic mess at two already messy traffic intersections. Wilshire and Ocean and California and Ocean are clogged with commuters twice a day, and now the greedbags who run the Miramar want to throw even more cars into the mix? Hell, no. You'll just have to make do with the already outrageous profits you're making now. This plan deserves to die a quiet, peaceful death. And thanks, Wilmont, for showing again how worthless you are. How in hell can you justify this project as something that will make our neighborhood better and more livable? How big a payoff did you get?

Apr. 24, 2012, 9:17:03 am

L. McCann said...

"The Miramar Hotel, a member of the Santa Monica family for generations?" Well it is time you move out of Santa Monica!!! Albin Gielicz, Rebecca Kennerly, Nat Trives, Irene Zivi - Co-Chairs, Friends of the Miramar... We Santa Monicans are NOT in support on this. "membership now exceeds 500, and continues to grow". Grow some where else!!! You are shameless!!! There is a petition circulating around town now to STOP you!!!!! Sign the petition people to STOP the MONSTER!

Apr. 24, 2012, 11:57:27 am

Peter Davison said...

Welcome to Miami, gateway to the Pacific!

Apr. 24, 2012, 12:47:35 pm

Adam Rakunas said...

L. McCann: where is this petition, and how can I sign it?

Apr. 24, 2012, 2:43:12 pm

Bob Abernethy said...

"Tens of millions" in new tax dollars to SAMO? From what source? Bed and sales taxes? Over how many lifetimes? And for this all we have t do is to sacrifice our skyline and the oceran views of so many residents. While I am glad that there will be union jobs coming out of this, how many of those will be set aside for local, i,e. Santa Monica, residents? Sounds like another empire-building scheme to me that comes at the cost of diminished quality of life for the rest of us

Apr. 25, 2012, 8:29:58 am

L. McCann said...

Re: Adam Rakunas, I just so happened to stop and listen to a person who was outside the local Albertsons Market. He asked me if I was a registered voter. Then he went on to show me many petitions aiming at our schools, our community (SM), our medical (CA). I suppose I was lucky that day,it was so easy that way. Seems that there has to be a place for reference on these matters. Maybe someone here we read this and offer that help. I do hope that you find and sign soon. Sincerely, L.. McCann

Apr. 26, 2012, 2:52:06 pm

Jane said...

When I moved here almost 30 years ago, Santa Monica was an idyllic place to live. Then came the developers and the hotels and what was formerly a gem is no longer! Traffic has become a nightmare and more apartments and hotels keep coming. Who is profiting from this ridiculous expansion? Certainly, the residents are not.

Apr. 26, 2012, 10:06:38 pm

Dan Shenise said...

It looks like a fair and reasonable project. The scale is similar to nearby projects and it creates more jobs, sounds like a winner to me. For those concerned about traffic, Santa Monica is part of one of the largest metros in the nation, traffic is a given. There are plenty of low density communities elsewhere. I'm afraid the days when Santa Monica was a sleepy little town passed about fifty to sixty years ago.

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