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Santa Monica Council to Weigh In on Proposed Development on Former Grammy Building Site

Santa Monica Real Estate Company, Roque and Mark

By Jason Islas
Staff Writer

November 27, 2012 -- Texas-based developer Trammel Crow Company will propose a project to the Council Tuesday that would replace the abandoned Grammy building at the eastern edge of Santa Monica with a 260-unit mixed-use development.

The project, as it's proposed, would replace the empty three-story building -- once the Grammy headquarters -- and “a vacant cluster of residential units,” according to staff.

“The proposed conceptual project involves four separate buildings ranging between two to four stories in height with 260 residential units, approximately 2,999 square feet of ground floor commercial space along Pico Boulevard, and 505 parking spaces within a two-level subterranean parking garage,” staff wrote.

The project was revised down from the originally proposed 300 units and 5,000 square feet of retail space in response to concerns of the Planning Commission at a July float-up.

At the same meeting, Planning Commissioner Richard McKinnon worried about the health impacts of having a residential building so close to the freeway.

One of the four buildings would be built 15 feet from the I-10 freeway.

“The applicant has worked with staff to modify the proposal by reducing the overall project density and improving the project design to better fit within the neighborhood context,” staff wrote.

The current project would have 74 studio apartments, 109 one-bedroom units, 59 two-bedroom units and 16 three-bedroom units.

Of the 260 units, 27 would be designated as very-low income units.

Still, there are those who are concerned that the development will be too big and produce too much traffic.

Zina Josephs, president of Friends of Sunset Park, sent a letter to the Council Sunday on behalf of the neighborhood organization, urging the Council members to reject the proposal.

“The proposed Pico/Centinela project at 3402 Pico Blvd. as proposed is just too big,” she wrote. Three of the proposed four buildings would be 47 feet tall, according to the current proposal.

The group also opposes the development on the grounds that it would generate more traffic in the area.

Still, staff hopes that the development's proximity to public transport would help mitigate traffic.

“The project site is served by existing public transportation with two Big Blue Bus lines and three MTA bus lines servicing Pico Boulevard,” staff wrote.

“The anticipated Expo Line Bundy station will be located within a half-mile of the project site. Bike facilities are also located along Pearl Street, Stewart Street, and 28th Street.”

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