Anti-Development Rally Planned Tuesday In Front Of Santa Monica City Hall

Monday, 3 Feb 2014, 9:24:00 AM

Parimal M. Rohit

A rendering of the Bergamot Village project proposed by Hines for 1681 26th Street in Santa Monica.
Rendering Courtesy Of The City Of Santa Monica
A rendering of the Bergamot Village project proposed by Hines for 1681 26th Street in Santa Monica.

A group of Santa Monica residents have organized a rally in front of

City Hall Tuesday evening in anticipation of the City Council’s

impending vote of a proposed five-building development nearing 800,000

square feet in size at Bergamot Station.

The rally is scheduled for 6 pm on Feb. 4; the citizen-based group

Santa Monica Coalition for a Livable City (SMCLC) coordinated the rally

with a mass e-mail to an undisclosed number of recipients.

“This Tuesday, February 4, our City Council will be voting on whether

to allow a powerful, politically connected, Texas developer to build

its massive, unpopular project in the most congested part of our city,”

the email signed-off by four members of the SMCLC stated. “If this

developer wins, the floodgates will open for the other 35 Development

Agreements in the pipeline. If this development is rejected, developers

will be on notice that residents will no longer tolerate the status

quo.”

Hines 26th Street LLC has proposed to build what is considered to be

the largest-ever development in Santa Monica. The project, if realized,

would be at 1681 26th Street, near the intersection of 26th Street and

Olympic Boulevard.

The proposed project would be located adjacent to an Expo Line

station at Bergamot Station and could transform the area into a combined

commercial, residential, and transit neighborhood.

If approved in its current form, the proposed Hines project would

bring 473 rental housing units, 25 artist work/live units, and an

estimated 400,000 square feet of creative office, restaurant, and retail

space to Olympic Boulevard and 26th Street.

The Final Environmental Impact Report (EIR) estimated the Hines

project would generate more than 7,000 new daily vehicular trips in the

Bergamot Station area.

Also proposed is about 90,000 square feet of open space, a

three-level subterranean parking structure accommodating between 1,900

and 2,100 parking spaces, the construction of two new north/south

streets with signalized intersections at Olympic Boulevard, and an

east/west extension of Nebraska Avenue connecting 26th and Stewart

Streets.

The proposed project’s five buildings would average 71 feet in

height, with the tallest building reaching 81 feet, according to the

final EIR.

Also according to the final EIR, the proposed project would require

the removal of coral trees in the area. The report describes the trees

as a “recognized scenic resource.”

The Santa Monica City Council held a public hearing Jan. 28 on the

proposed Hines development agreement (DA). An estimated 120 speakers

addressed council members in favor or opposition of the proposed

project. However, the council decided to postpone deliberations and the

final vote one week.

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