The Bergamot Transit Village is an enormous mixed-use development planned for the area adjacent to the coming Bergamot stop on the second phase of the Expo Line, at the eastern end of Santa Monica. It'll be the first--and densest--phase of the Bergamot Area Plan that Santa Monica approved last week, once the city's satisfied with the plans. According to the Santa Monica Daily Press, however, they aren't happy yet. As it stands now, developer Hines wants to build 471 apartments (pdf), 27 live/work units for artists, up to 374,423 square feet of creative office space, 15,500 square feet of restaurant space, and nearly 14,000 square feet of neighborhood-serving retail space on the 7.1-acre property (formerly a Papermate industrial site). The buildings would range from five to seven stories, and plans also include a large plaza, pedestrian paths, a park, two new streets, and 1,936 parking spaces in three underground levels. But as ever, the devil's in the details.
Less-than-flattering descriptions of the project include phrases like "a blandness," "blocky masses," and "a mini-LA Live," while the design by Gensler was said to be more reminiscent of "an office campus and not mixed-use" and needed to be more creative. The plaza drew some criticism for being just an empty concrete space, and one commissioner said she hoped the plans would draw on the "former industrial feel and relate to some way to the [Bergamot Station] Arts Center and using innovative architecture." The project will now head for a design review with the city, after which it'll come back to the planning commission, who will vote on whether to recommend that the city council move forward with a development agreement.
· Design, open space issues over Bergamot project [SMDP]
· Bergamot Transit Village Archives [Curbed LA]