The Santa Monica Planning Commission is taking one last look at the proposed Bergamot Transit Village before making a recommendation to the city council (so far officials have hated the design), and one influential group is telling them to nix the development in its current form. The project would transform the Bergamot industrial/art gallery area into a huge multi-use zone with housing, offices, and retail, all centered around a new Expo Line station, but a group called Santa Monicans for Renters' Rights are rising up and demanding that the developers swap some of the office space in favor of more housing (the project has already shrunk and added additional residential). SMRR thinks the office space will attract more traffic than housing, which is probably true, but is it smart to turn down good jobs (the project is catering to creative businesses)? Currently, the development from Texas-based Hines includes just under 375,000 square feet of creative office space, 29,300 square feet of retail, and 330,000 square feet of housing (471 apartments and 27 live/work units for artists). SMRR decided at their meeting this month that wasn't acceptable and that they should lobby city officials for more changes. The project has been discussed for five years and was subject to an environmental impact report process that took a $1 million and one year to complete--the resulting document clocked in at 8,711 pages.
· Santa Monica's Powerful Renters' Rights Group Wants More Housing at Bergamot Transit Village [Lookout]
· Bergamot Transit Village Archives [Curbed LA]