April 20, 2024 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

Council to Vote on Downtown Affordable Housing Development

The Project Calls for 570 Housing Units

By Zach Armstrong

The Santa Monica City Council is set to vote on authorizing a downtown development at the block bounded by Olympic and Colorado and 4th and 5th Streets.

The project, in agreement with California-based AMCAL Multi-Housing, Inc. and Texas-based Gen-Land LLC, calls for approximately 570 housing units. AMCAL also proposed to acquire the adjacent 27,176 square foot office/commercial building at 1640 5th Street, known as the “Comma Building”, from Lincoln Properties, for more housing units. Because the proposal relies on the Comma Building sale, a tri-party agreement between the City, AMCAL and Lincoln properties is required.

Public input is involved in the delivery of this development. According to the agenda item, the developer must conduct a public meeting within 30 days of delivering the final executed ENA. Before finishing design drawings to review by the Planning and Community Development Department, the developer will conduct at least two public workshops with those residing within 500 feet of the project. 

ALetter of Intent with the City provides for the purchase of the property, located at 1632-36 5th Street, for just over $7.6 million. Funding for the acquisition is available from the Redevelopment Agency, as long as the City and Redevelopment Agency make findings that the use of funds for the acquisition benefit the Earthquake Recovery Redevelopment Project Area, according to an agenda item.

After the council declared the approximately 1.85 acres of property as “surplus land”, the City notified affordable housing developers followed by an analysis of 11 offers, according to an agenda item. Under the Surplus Land Act, the City must prioritize affordable housing, and notify developers, local park and recreation departments and school districts about available City-owned parcels for those entities to offer leasing or buying for affordable housing or other purposes.

The development is on the agenda of the council’s Sept. 12 meeting.

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