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Rem Koolhaas Designing Huge Multi-Use Project in SaMo

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Big news out of Santa Monica today: Rem Koolhaas's firm OMA is one big step closer to building its first big LA project. According to the Santa Monica Daily Press, a committee has picked OMA's design for a huge mixed-use project--to be developed by Metropolitan Pacific Capital, DLJ Real Estate Capital Partners, and Clarett West Developers--for the "opportunity site" at Fourth Street and Arizona in downtown Santa Monica, and will be recommending that the city council vote in August to start negotiations with the firm (*the project group also includes Van Tilburg, Banvard & Soderbergh and landscape architects OLIN). The proposed Plaza at Santa Monica would be more than 400,000 square feet and stretch to 148 feet (12 stories). It would include "a 225-room boutique hotel, restaurants, shops and a marketplace as well as cultural areas for both children and adults." The plans also call for a central space that can be used as a performance venue, water feature, or winter ice-skating rink. The team says it would require a $330-million investment, and they'd pay the city $1.3 million in ground rent per year.

The panel chose the MPC/OMA proposal over two competing visions for its "compelling design," variety of "businesses and entities" included, connection to the rest of downtown Santa Monica, the community outreach process, and its plethora of parking: 1,220 spots, including 580 available to the general public. The Forest City Development proposal (designed by Robert AM Stern with Brooks + Scarpa *and landscape architects West 8) called for the least amount of parking and the panel "questioned the architectural design." Related California's proposal (*designed by Bjarke Ingels Group with Koning Eizenberg, Rios Clementi Hale, and RTKL) was higher and denser, and included affordable housing units, which the others did not.

If the Santa Monica City Council votes to move the project forward, a development agreement could be initiated at the start of next year. John Warfel of MPC expects that the plans will change as the community starts feeding back. Affordable housing units could be added, and the height may need to come down to 13 feet to comply with the proposed new height limit for downtown Santa Monica.
· Panel selects Downtown development team [SMDP]
· SaMo Looking for Big Names For Big Mixed-Use Development [Curbed LA]