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SaMo Not Thrilled With Mixed-Use Plans for Old Grammy HQ

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The project to redevelop the old National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences site on Pico at the eastern edge of Santa Monica moves slowly forward. Developer Trammell Crow bought the site, which has been vacant since the Grammys left the building in 2009, last October and last month presented new plans to the Santa Monica City Council for 260 residential units and about 3,000 square feet of groundfloor commercial space. Councilmembers were not overjoyed by the project, a mixed-user with rental units and modest commercial space. Santa Monica Patch reports that reactions ranged from "doesn't make sense" to "there's a great level of concern about this project, as well as there should be" to the comparatively enthusiastic "elsewhere in this city, this project would be great." Trammell Crow principal Gregory Ames reminded the council that the property will be developed one way or another; per current zoning, no permission would be required to built 47,000 square feet of office space and 67 residential units. But that's not what Trammell Crow wants to build.

Having scaled back the initial plans after discussion with the planning commission, Trammell Crow now proposes four separate buildings ranging between two to four stories in height with the 260 residential units and the 3,000 square feet of ground floor commercial space along Pico Boulevard, plus 505 parking spaces in a two-level subterranean parking garage. Access to the parking garage would be provided along Thirty-Fourth Street and Centinela Avenue.

Those residential units would be:
-- 74 studio units
-- 109 one-bedroom units
-- 59 two-bedroom units
-- 16 three-bedroom units
-- 27 units very-low income affordable units.

No surprise that the project's impact on traffic was a major point of contention. Neighborhood groups estimate the development will lead to 2,000 new car trips, though some councilmembers hope that increased housing in Santa Monica will decrease commuter traffic. The council has told Trammell Crow to start their environmental impact report process, asking the developer to also look at building a 100 percent commercial development and a much smaller project that retains some residential units. Trammell Crow says they will continue to modify plans based on feedback from the city.
· Santa Monica to Study Impacts of Unpopular Pico Blvd. Development [SM Patch]
· Plans Submitted to Turn Old Grammy HQ into Rental Mixed Use [Curbed LA]