This is a confusing time for the Santa Monica Civic Center and the surrounding area. Two mainstays of its civic identity are on the ropes: the beloved Civic Auditorium has just closed, and the future of the quirky anti-nuke "Chain Reaction" sculpture on the Civic Center lawn is murky at best. But just down the street, shiny, new Santa Monica is coming into focus. First there's the new six-acre Tongva Park, due to open soon--it was designed by the firm behind the super-popular High Line in New York. And then, says the LA Times, there's a $350-million condo/apartment/commercial complex called Ocean Avenue South on the way from Related Cos. The pricey condos will be in two buildings, the Seychelle (with "modern Zen" interiors by Clodagh) and the smaller Waverly ("with finishes in white marble, cappuccino travertine and bleached oak flooring" by Marmol Radziner)--prices for the 158 luxury units will start at $800,000. The city hopes that all this swank development will liven up the area, which has "been a dead zone for decades." Oh, and for all you Chez Jay fans: the old-time nautical-themed bar and restaurant, which sits right in the middle of all this hubbub, seems to have weathered the storm, and may get a new outdoor patio to boot.
· Condo, retail and park projects near completion in Santa Monica [LAT]