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Frank Gehry Designing Hotel Tower and Art Museum For SaMo

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Whoa: starriest starchitect Frank Gehry is designing a 22-story tower on Ocean Avenue in Santa Monica, according to plans submitted today. The Santa Monica Daily Press reports that the tower will house a 125-room hotel and 22 condos, plus two stories of retail and restaurants, and a three-floor subterranean parking garage with 460 spaces. But wait! There's more. A 36,000-square-foot art museum, incorporating two landmarked structures, is planned for next door. Finally, there are also plans for a separate apartment building on Second Street to meet the project's affordable housing requirement (and replace 19 rent-controlled units that would be lost to the development). The project is being developed by M. David Paul Associates--which owns the site--and the Worthe Real Estate Group. *The tower would not actually be taller than the 21-story building recently proposed for the Fairmont Miramar Hotel site--despite having one more story, it would come in about 18 feet shorter.

The wavy 244-foot tower would be set back from the street, behind the planned retail component. The all-white design is meant to "play off of other prominent Santa Monica buildings, and attempt[s] to marry an art deco feel with Gehry's distinctive style." The developers spent six years cooking up the $72 million project, though the plans did not include a museum until two years ago. That would mean its addition came not long after Santa Monica finally lost its dream of becoming home to The Broad museum, which, while originally planned for SaMo, announced it was headed Downtown in 2010.

The Ocean Avenue Project now joins a long list of projects awaiting development agreements in Santa Monica, but the developers are hitting the ground running. The first community meetings are expected to be held in March.
· Frank Gehry-designed hotel proposed for Ocean Avenue [SMDP]