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Ocean Avenue Hotels Slated for Redevelopment:

The Travelodge Hotel located at 1525 Ocean Avenue, the Pacific Sands Hotel at 1515 Ocean Avenue, and its annex at 1530 2nd Street are being redeveloped into the Travelodge Hotel project by owner Ocean Avenue Management LLC.

This proposed project will be 89,900 square feet and four stories high (45 feet tall), with 164 guestrooms and a 296-space subterranean parking garage. The project will also contain approximately 3,190 square feet of ground floor commercial/retail uses, including a public plaza. The new hotel, according to City documents, “will consist of two buildings [one on Ocean Avenue and one on 2nd Street] connected by three pedestrian bridges across the 1st Court alley.”

At a community meeting held on January 10 at the Santa Monica Main Library, Michael Farzam, Chief Financial Officer of Ocean Avenue Management, noted that the developers’ objectives were to “create an affordable lodging facility with limited amenities, revitalize 2nd Street.” Additionally, Ocean Avenue Management aims to provide almost 100 parking spaces in excess of City requirements to assist with the parking needs of downtown Santa Monica. Farzam also mentioned that he and Mace-rich, owner of Santa Monica Place, had entered into a mutual agreement, stating, “We support their project and they support our project at 45 feet [tall].”

Attorney Maureen Muranaka, whose office is located near the project’s proposed site, expressed a safety concern about the project’s egress at 1st Court. She was also worried that the project’s construction would block access to her office if proper mitigations were not put into place.

The owner of a mixed-use building on 2nd Street situated directly behind the project worried that the project would obscure residential units’ ocean view and that people might be able to look into the units from the pedestrian bridge.

A key concern expressed by the City planning staff was the massing of the pedestrian bridges. Farzam defended the use of the bridges, stating that it will make the pedestrian access safer for guests.

The Planning Commission is scheduled to review the project on February 20. This will be followed by reviews from the City Council, the Architectural Review Board, and the Coastal Commission. The developer hopes to begin construction in spring of 2009 and to have the project complete by autumn of 2010. For further information, contact Santa Monica Associate Planner Laura Beck at 310.458.8341.

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