A final workshop to receive community input for the Civic Center Village was held earlier this month at Virginia Avenue Park.
Community members reviewed the updated concept plan that was based upon the input received at the September 27 workshop, and also gave additional input.
The mixed-use village will contain residential, commercial and public open space uses. The guiding values and development strategies used to develop the conceptual design were derived from the City’s Civic Center Specific Plan, and include “a development of 325 residences, with a minimum of 160 affordable residences for very-low and low income households. A development that accommodates a wide demographic – from individuals, to large families and live-work spaces suitable for artists. Low and mid-rise buildings that are sensitively scaled to the pedestrian, and that are compatible and closely integrated with a central neighborhood green. A development that has visitor-serving commercial uses on the ground floor frontage of buildings located on Ocean Avenue and Olympic Drive.”
Even though a consensus was achieved that the current design had acceptable varying heights, setbacks, open space and density, the community was still concerned about the “opening size and location on Olympic Drive.” They also recommended that Olympic Drive have traffic calming measures and that a study be done on how the project would affect “air flow and ventilation” on the side that borders the RAND Corporation.
Input was also given on access to the site. Comments received included “restricting access to the site” but allowing “more public access to south of the site – more buildings towards Olympic to increase the open space inside.” A sustainability suggestion was to make sure measures be taken meet “South Coast Air Quality District standards.” Some believed that taking sustainability measures would “create, depth, texture and interest to the project.”
Those who commented on the architectural character stated that the “design needs to reflect the times.” One person criticized the proposed architecture by noting the project is “faux-ultra modern. It looks like IKEA.” It eventually will look “dated and won’t age well.” Another community member felt the project should be done in the “California Craftsman style.”
Community members also requested that input on the project be obtained from the City’s accessibility, housing, art and environmental task forces.
The project will now begin going through the development review process, which is expected to last from 18 to 24 months. The estimated timeline for the project’s construction is 18 months.
The Village Developer-Design Team are the Related Companies of California; the Community Corporation of Santa Monica; Moore, Ruble, Yudell Architects and Planners; Koning Eizenberg Architecture; Pugh + Scarpa Architecture; Mia Lehrer + Associates; Hood Design; and public artists Catherine Wagner and Janet Zweig.