Back in March, the Santa Monica City Council told Hines, an international developer, to go back to their T-squares and redesign their plans for the Bergamot Transit Village, a 500-yard long project at the old Papermate factory between 26th and Stewart Streets along Olympic Blvd. The council said the plans were not pedestrian-friendly enough, especially for a project meant to complement a light rail stop (the Expo Line extension to Santa Monica, coming in 2015)--there were accusations of blank walls, unvaried buildings, and a canyon effect. The often contentious project has been modified and is now quite a bit smaller, reports the Lookout News.
Originally nearly one million square feet, the transit village is now just about 767,000. Buildings have been shifted to reduce the canyon effect, while "a new park and street, open spaces, pedestrian walkways and varied building heights and facades account for much of the difference between these plans and those rejected by the City Council last March." The new park faces Nebraska Ave., and pocket parks have been added to the design, along with a pedestrian pathway and widened sidewalks. Retail, which shrunk from 83,712 square feet to 47,123, will primarily face Olympic and 26th. The changes sound like another step in the right direction for the project, which recently received a chunk of money from the Feds.
· Hines Project Shrinks in Response to Criticism [The Look Out News]
· Bergamot Transit Village [Curbed Archives]