The second in a series of workshops held to receive community input for the design of the mixed-use Village at the Civic Center was held at the Ken Edwards Center on Wednesday, September 27.
Three concept studies were presented that reflected community input from the first workshop. The City Council and some of the City Commissions weighed in about the design of the Village before the workshop. Architect Julie Eisenberg, of Koning Eisenberg Architecture, ran the workshop. The concept studies were (1) “a mix of heights up to 65 feet for variation, flexible setbacks to improve open space, flexible setbacks for more interesting building forms, active retail along Ocean Ave. and Olympic Dr., (2) investigating more options for the nature and location of the major public open space (The Village Green) and (3) making the major public open space the link and focus of retail, live/work and housing.”
The consensus achieved at the meeting was that the Village should open to the park, the triangular green space that’s part of the Village area should be “open or public” and the Village should promote “connectivity to the beach.”
Other input from the community included the need for adequate parking for both the residents and the retail components, good public transportation access, a Flexcar location, locating artist studios on the ground floor and affordable housing on top, giving priority to affordable units to Santa Monica workers and residents, including water features to mask noise pollution and having secure play areas for children.
Concerns were expressed about having the proposed mix of market-rate condos and affordable housing together, the density of the Village and maintaining a safe environment there.
Joan Ling, Executive Director of Community Corporation, mentioned that the affordable housing units will serve those who earn between $30,000 – $40,000 yearly in entry-level positions such as clerical and retail. The rents will range from $500-$900 per month depending on the size of the unit.
The projected timeline for the Village includes six months for the community design process, which began in May, 18-24 months for the development review process and 18 months for construction.
The next workshop will include the design feedback from this workshop, a discussion of the architectural style for the Village, as well as community input on transit options and sustainability features. It will be held at Virginia Avenue Park on Thursday, November 9 from 6-8 p.m.
Those interested in more information can go to www.thevillageatsm.com or call Jim Kemper (310.434.2647) or the Community Corporation of Santa Monica at (310.394.8487).