Santa Monica wants big things for three acres of city-owned and underutilized space on Arizona, between Fourth and Fifth, in the city's downtown--the 127,000 square feet include that drab Bank of America next to the pictured parking lot. The City Council threw around some ideas last week, reports The Santa Monica Mirror: shops, restaurants, a meeting space, a boutique hotel, open space, and an ice rink were all mentioned. Planning Director Eileen Fogarty urged the council to think long and hard about what to do, since the space is larger than both the plot containing New York's Rockefeller Center and Portland's Pioneer Square, and could be a catalyst for the rest of the area. Councilman Bobby Shriver acknowledged Santa Monica's fears of big, bad developers, but said developers should be embraced, as they, not politicians, were the ones who brought Rockefeller Center to fruition. Don't think PARKING! wasn't mentioned; Mayor Pro Tem Gleam Davis suggested throwing a big underground garage under whatever gets built: “This is an opportunity to build as much parking as we economically can." Community meetings, where the public can weigh in, will be the next step in figuring out what to do at the lot.
· City Council Moves Forward With Construction [SM Mirror]
· Santa Monica Makes One of Its Last Big Downtown Purchases [Curbed LA]