Santa Monica's blueprint for planning in the area near the forthcoming Expo Line station at Olympic and 26th, known as the Bergamot Area Plan, will finally be heard by the city's planning commission this month, the Santa Monica Mirror reports. The newspaper has some details on the ambitious proposal, which actually encompasses two developments: the Bergamot Art Station and the Bergamot Transit Village. The former project could include hotels and museums, but it's incited far less ire than the latter, which has already been downsized and will probably ended up having more housing--and less office space--than an earlier incarnation. While the exact number of new units remains a question, there's a big push to create more workforce housing so that employees in the area's creative industries can actually afford to live nearby (findings show that only one percent of those who work in the area could afford a single-family home there).
The goals of the area plan's "Shared Streets" initiative are clearer: "City Hall estimates as many as 10 miles of new sidewalk and more than two miles of bike lanes or sharrows would be added to the area. Between 1.8 and 3.6 miles of multi-use paths could also be included." The plan also aspires to add "character" to Olympic Boulevard, which will likely mean more street-facing retail (of which there is almost none now), and the "creat[ion of] certain landmarks" on Nebraska Avenue, so there's reason for residents and transit riders to walk or bike down the street to get from the station to a new mixed-use creative district.
· Santa Monica's Bergamot Area Plan Coming Into Focus As 2013 Approaches [SM Mirror]