September 30, 2020 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

MINI Dealership In Line For Santa Monica City Council Green Light:

A new car dealership could soon zig and zag its way to the corner of Santa Monica Boulevard and 14th Street. The proposed dealership has already handled a few tough corners en route to the City Council, but before MINI crosses the finish line and opens up shop in Santa Monica, the group proposing the auto company’s arrival must still win over the City Council.

The council is expected to vote on the project’s development agreement (DA) at tonight’s July 8 meeting, with council members to weigh in on a MINI dealership proposing to bring a 33,400 square foot and 35-foot high building to 1402 Santa Monica Boulevard.

The current DA proposed by Quinn Automotive Group includes plans for 6,144 square feet of sales floor and offices, a café, 21 service bays, and 135 parking spaces. If approved, the MINI dealership would replace a Union 76 service station that has since been closed down.

According to City staff, the proposed MINI dealership would generate about $494,000 of sales tax revenue each year, making it a “priority project.”

Other building uses in the area, according to City staff, include a gas station, restaurant, multiple-family residential, and retail.

“The proposed building is designed in a modern/contemporary style. Specific colors, glass and overall materials are consistent with MINI corporate branding for their auto dealerships. The uniqueness of this building is the Union Jack MINI on the front of the building above the service entrance and the corner café with an up-side-down MINI that can be seen from the seating area below and would also be framed outside the bulding in yellow at the building corner,” City staff explained of the dealership’s look.

In terms of community benefits, the dealership proposes to be LEED Platinum certified. City staff states the dealership would have “skylights on the roof to allow for natural lighting, photovoltaic panels on the roof to generate energy for the building, and a minimum of four electric vehicle (EV) charging stations.”

Other community benefits to be included in the DA: local hiring provision, $20,000 contribution to Historic Preservation Fund, $189,424.74 contribution to City Hall for transportation infrastructure improvements, a café with at least 10 seats and open to the public “no less than 8:30 am to 4 pm, Monday through Saturday,” and a Transportation Demand Management (TDM) Plan “to reduce project parking demand and vehicular trips in the area.”

At a recent Planning Commission meeting about the DA, other community benefits were also discussed, such as sidewalk widening and leveling, the offering of internships, photovoltaic panels on the roof, electric vehicle charging station, and the prohibition of vehicle loading and unloading in the alley and on 14th Street.

In addition to voting on the DA, council members will also be deciding on whether to accept the Final Environmental Impact Report and adopting the necessary CEQA (California Environmental Quality Act) findings.

The MINI dealership DA is one of three first reading ordinances the council will consider at its July 8 meeting.

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