A proposal to build a hotel at Seventh and Wilshire in Santa Monica is either sprinting towards approval or limping to a slow death--depends on which story you read. The plan, which has been in the works for years, includes renovating and building around the landmarked Santa Monica Professional Building to create a six-story, 285 room hotel with groundfloor retail. Reporting from a planning commission meeting this week,
One big problem is the design of the 164,000 square foot project, described by some as plain and not exactly complementary to the Spanish Colonial Revival Professional Building. Other issues include the hourly wages the hotel will pay to employees, which are about three dollars less than what unions want--commissioners said they weren't given enough time to consider the developer's proposal on pay.
Planners also took umbrage with the developer's request for major latitude on the groundbreaking date, specifically the option to apply for building permits seven years (!) after the development agreement is signed, with the possibility for three years of extensions.
Considering all these factors, the commission delayed a vote on the development agreement for the project until Feb. 15.
· Downtown Santa Monica Hotel Gets Solid Backing [The LookOut]
· Planning Agency's Not Sold On 710 Wilshire's Provisions [Santa Monica Patch]