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Height Major Issue At Civic Center Village Workshop:

The first community workshop to help shape and design the mixed-use Civic Center Village will be held on Saturday, June 17, and maximum building heights will be the issue at the top of the list.

City documents state this workshop will use the four design concepts for the Village prepared by The Related Companies. These different concepts will include two different design concepts, “each with a 56-foot and 65-foot height variation.”

William Witte, president of The Related Companies of California, explained to the Mirror that it was necessary for the Village to contain 50 percent market rate condos “in order to pay for the 50 percent low income units.” He anticipates that the condos will be from 1,200 to 1,400 square feet and “cost on average of $950,000 to $1 million per unit in today’s market.”

Witte also stressed that “because of the desirability of the location you can have a mix” of market rate condos and affordable units “without effecting the sale of the market rate units.” In his view, those who will live there “will accept having different types of neighbors.” He also mentioned that the proceeds from the sale of the condos would not only subsidize the low-income units, but will also help pay for improving the area’s streets and give the City excess revenue for other purposes. The 15,000-20,000 square feet of retail is being included “not for economic reasons but for area amenities.”

According to Related’s Jean Mills, after the City Council’s review some time during the summer, an updated design concept will be presented to the community in workshop form in the fall so the concept can be further refined. The other issues that will be discussed during the fall workshop will be “elevations, where the retail will go, the incorporation of live/work areas for artists, a park by RAND and public art.” After returning to the appropriate City Commissions, the design concept will then go through the City’s development review process in the winter of 2007 and then be reviewed by the California Coastal Commission.

The community workshop will be held Saturday, June 17 from 1-3pm at 1733 Ocean Ave. For more information, call Kim Kemper with the City Housing Division at 310. 434.2647 or the CCSM at 310.394.8487.

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