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Santa Monica Crews at Work Transforming Colorado

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Pacific Park, Santa Monica Pier

Santa Monica Convention and Visitors BureauWhen one lives in a city as breathtakingly beautiful and unique as Santa Monica, inevitably that city will be shared with visitors.

By Lookout Staff

June 19, 2014 -- The new theater complex slated for the remodeled Santa Monica Place is part of an ongoing renaissance that promises to transform a short stretch of Colorado Avenue from Fifth Street to the Santa Monica Pier.

Over the next few years, Downtown’s southernmost thoroughfare will get two new hotels, its sidewalks will be widened and bike lanes added, and the Expo Light Rail station will open.

To make sure that construction of the half-dozen projects goes smoothly, City officials have been holding monthly meetings with project developers and stakeholders in the area to coordinate schedules and mitigate impacts.

“We bring together the stakeholders for the Downtown and the City staff to share information about the schedules of construction as well as problem solve and trouble shoot issues,” said Deputy City Manager Kate Vernez.

“Having all the parties at the table certainly does allow us to provide everybody with the same level of information,” she said.

Two new mid-priced hotels by OTO Development are expected to get underway in early summer with a goal of wrapping up construction at the end of 2015, said City Engineer Lee Swain.

OTO’s director of west coast development, Mike Gallen, said the City has taken a “very proactive approach,” holding monthly meetings to coordinate all the moving pieces.

“As part of our development agreement, we have a long list of mitigation measures and coordination we need to undertake to minimize the impact of construction,” Gallen said.

Macerich has commenced preliminary utility work and will start construction of a new movie theater on the third floor of Santa Monica Place this summer. Macerich officials expect construction —which will require setting up a crane near Colorado Avenue and 4th Street — to be completed by October 2015.

By early 2015, construction could start on the Colorado Esplanade, a $13 million, year-long overhaul of the thoroughfare that will widen sidewalks, add bike lanes and remove eastbound car traffic from Fifth Street to the Pier, Swain said.

All the while, Metro is currently laying tracks for the coming Expo line and will likely wind up construction on the Downtown station at 4th Street and Colorado Avenue sometime in mid-2015, he said.

Just south of Colorado Avenue, the City is planning a 10-day closure of Moomat Ahiko Way shortly after Labor Day. As one of only two entrances to the Pacific Coast Highway from Santa Monica, the street will be reopened well before the City starts its 18-month replacement of the California Incline, the other entrance to PCH, likely in early 2015.

The projects should all be completed before the City begins replacing the

74-year-old concrete Pier Bridge, a project that will likely start in 2017, Swain said.

“The construction along Colorado Avenue is extensive,” said Kathleen Rawson, CEO of Downtown Santa Monica, Inc. (DTSM). “It’s important that we continue the ongoing discussions to insure that Downtown continues to run smoothly while the projects are completed.”

For the latest updates on construction and street closures visit the City’s “Be Excited! Be Prepared” page at

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