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A rendering of 26Street TOD Partners’ proposed 221,264 square foot development for 2525 Michigan Avenue.
Courtesy Of The City Of Santa Monica
A rendering of 26Street TOD Partners’ proposed 221,264 square foot development for 2525 Michigan Avenue.

News, City Council, Development, Bergamot Station, Santa Monica

Bergamot Station Arts Center Development On Santa Monica Council Docket

Posted Feb. 24, 2014, 9:19 am

Parimal M. Rohit / Staff Writer

The Santa Monica City Council is not yet done with development in the Bergamot Station area. Just two weeks after formally approving the controversial Hines development agreement (DA) on second reading by a 4-3 vote, council members will be voting this Tuesday, Feb. 25 to allow the City Manager’s office to enter into an exclusive negotiating agreement with a developer to develop the Bergamot Station Arts Center.

If approved, 26Street TOD Partners would begin the process of seeking a DA from City Hall. Since this is one of the first steps on the DA application process, a final vote on the proposed project would not come until at least 2017.

Still, the prospects for a DA at 2525 Michigan Avenue – less than a mile from the just-approved Hines DA, which, once built, could bring as many as 7,000 additional vehicles to the Bergamot Station area – may draw additional ire from some development-weary residents.

So, what does the redevelopment project propose?

Council members will be is considering 26Street TOD Partners’ project that 221,264 square feet in size. Of that building space, 75,000 square feet would be dedicated to subsidized arts space, 68,777 square feet for a hotel, 40,000 square feet in creative office space, 20,000 square feet allocated to art-related retail space, and 17,877 square feet set aside for restaurant.

“As proposed, the project offers affordable, subsidized space for non-profit arts organizations and for-profit galleries, nearly 1.5 acres of public and civic space, preservation of at least 54 percent of existing buildings, night and weekend site-activation uses, public parking, bike facilities and sustainable, transit-oriented design,” City staff stated. “Total development costs are anticipated to be $92 million, with an initial annual ground lease payment to the City of $750,000.”

The current proposal also calls for 64,900 square feet in open space and 442 at-grade and subterranean parking spaces.

According to City staff, the developer proposes a six-story, 93-room hotel and a four-story museum; also proposed is a 200-plus-seat amphitheatre. The proposed Floor-Area Ratio (FAR) is 0.9.

“The proposed development preserves and enhances Building B, E and possibly also Buildings A/C, while constructing additional buildings in a complementary, industrial design,” City staff stated. “A vine-covered garden concourse bisects the site, intersecting public spaces landscaped with succulents and wildflowers. All tenant spaces open directly onto outdoor walkways that accommodate both public art installations and spillover space for gallery events.”

According to City staff, the developer would seek LEED gold-level certification, install rooftop solar units and a rainwater collection and irrigation system, and provide natural lighting and ventilation for tenant spaces.

The development also proposes bicycle parking and a full-service bicycle center.

Two non-profit partners – CalArts and KCRW – are proposed to work alongside the museum and galleries to create arts education and programming.

“The developer will contribute a portion of parking revenues to arts programming, estimated $150,000 per year,” City staff stated.

City staff added the 26Street TOD Partners proposal was the “most exciting, visionary and creative in its approach to realizing a vibrant arts and cultural center” and the project, if realized, “would retain and build upon the success of the current center by retaining art galleries, supporting both emerging and established artists, and expanding the array of cultural offerings on the site.”

Two other groups submitted proposals: Bergamot Station LTD/Worthe Real Estate Group, and REthink Development/Kor Group.

The Bergamot Station LTD/Worthe Real Estate Group proposal, according to City staff, did not maximize the synergy of the new transit station and therefore missed the opportunity of taking Bergamot Station Arts Center to a new level of community access, cultural programming, and long-term viability.

With regard to REthink Development/Kor Group’s proposal, City staff stated the evaluation panel questioned the team’s overall experience and ability to deliver a project of this complexity, given that the collective team has not worked together previously.

The 26Street TOD Partners proposal carries the highest price tag at a little more than $92 million. REthink Development/Kor Group’s proposal was priced in at about $81.7 million, while Bergamot Station LTD/Worthe Real Estate Group estimated its project would cost about $80.4 million.

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Feb. 24, 2014, 9:38:02 am

Les said...

Next stop for the developers? The airport. They're already whipping everyone up with talks of a grand park but look at Hines and look at Bergamont and look at the hotels and look at the roads. If I were an impartial observer I'd think the city favors large scale development over parks.

Feb. 24, 2014, 10:45:18 am

W Smiff said...

"Seven THOUSAND additional vehicles" That's "additional." Hey Jeremy Stutes, where are you? Ryan? Lame as lamp posts. BTW Les, A judge threw out the case where the City of Santa Monica would take over the airport. I think that issue is dead for a while. Hopefully.

Feb. 24, 2014, 2:33:32 pm

Kelli said...

STOP DEVELOPING!! Residents do not want all of this growth! Keep Santa Monica small and quiet!!!

Feb. 24, 2014, 2:40:09 pm

Jill said...

I have forgotten what the "vision" was for Santa Monica?. I no longer go west of Lincoln, only venture on to Wilshire to visit doctors and dentists. I know we have a farmers market selling organic food as we are all bombarded with car fumes. Unless you live North of Wilshire. You say we have an Ocean at our doorstep???

Feb. 24, 2014, 2:54:58 pm

Jill said...

I'm wondering in the rendition above are people walking on water or wandering through a prairie landscape?. I see one lonely child in the center of the "rendition" surrounded by trendies?.

Feb. 24, 2014, 7:55:24 pm

ted said...

I've lived in Santa Monica since 1969 and have seen a lot of changes. What I find really disturbing is the general gridlock and it seems like downtown is being knocked down one building at a time wand replace with either commercial apartments or city-owned buildings. And they all look the same. It seems like SMRR just want tax income to finance low income housing and parks that they can name after each other. Replacing Lincoln Park with Reed Park was so wrong. I lived here during her entire tenure and she didn't do anything that I'm aware of. Ruth Yanatta would have made more sense to me. I would vote them all out except Bob Holbrook. I think the SMRR council members are on a giant ego trip.

Feb. 24, 2014, 11:10:11 pm

Nord said...

...on a giant ego trip to the bank. (Or in O'conner's case to the bakery.)

Feb. 25, 2014, 11:12:31 am

Ted said...

Just build it already! It's a next to the train stop and right now is an abandoned warehouse.

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