During a city council meeting described as "giddy" by the Santa Monica Daily Press, Santa Monica unanimously approved a Marriott and a Hampton Inn at Fourth and Colorado, next to the Expo Line terminus. Having overcome disagreements with local unions over minimum wages, the developer, OTO, announced they wanted construction to start soon--in the spring--to ensure the properties open in time with the Expo Line and the accompanying Colorado Esplanade, likely in early 2016. The council wanted OTO to contribute $1.7 million toward city improvements, but instead agreed on a reduced $1.3 million, with $600,000 for the Esplanade. There's one last wrinkle in the design--the council thinks that proposed columns in front of the Marriott will hamper the walking experience; the architectural board is on the case and will consult with OTO, which made a video displaying the hotels' relation to the train.
· Council Approves Downtown Hotels [SMDP]