Several years ago, on the recommendation of City staff, the City Council directed the staff to work with the Macerich Company on a redevelopment plan for Santa Monica Place.
The plan, which was included in the most recent draft Civic Center Specific Plan (2002), featured a structure of the same approximate size and mass as the existing mall, but had a number of new elements, including a broad, open pedestrian throughway at its center, new subterranean parking, and housing elements on the sites of the existing parking structures.
The City owns the existing parking structures and currently, would be obliged to pay for new underground parking.
Late last fall, Macerich unveiled a plan that bore virtually no resemblance to the prior plan. The most radical, and controversial, element in the new iteration was a trio of 21-srory condo towers. Many residents objected to the towers, which were in violation of existing zoning regulations, and a mild commotion ensued.
In response, at the direction of the City Council, in Januaary, Santa Monica’s Planning and Community Development Department and the Macerich Company, the owner of Santa Monica Place, began to collaborate on what they call “a revitalization plan.”
To that end, four community meetings have been scheduled this month at which residents will “learn more about the process and provide…ideas to revitalze and re-energize Santa Monica Place,” in the words of a Macerich mailer.
The four meetings will be held on Sunday, March 13, at 2 p.m. at Santa Monica Place (4th Street entrance), Monday, March 14, at 6 p.m. at Grant Elementary School, 2368 Pearl Street in Sunset Park, Thursday, March 17, at 6 p.m. at Franklin School, Montana and 24th Street, and Monday, March 21, at 6 p.m. at John Adams Middle School. 2425 Sixteenth Street.In addition, Macerich has sent questionnaires to every household in the City, and a website www.reimagine-santamonicaplace.com features news and information.