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SHOCKER: Santa Monica Rejects Big Rem Koolhaas Project

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Everything was going so well for the huge, mixed-use, Rem Koolhaas-designed Plaza at Santa Monica: in July a panel picked it over two other proposed designs for a city-owned site at Fourth and Arizona in downtown Santa Monica, and last week city staff recommended that the council enter into an exclusive negotiating agreement with developer Metropolitan Pacific Capital. The council, however, had other plans and rejected that recommendation 5-1. But don't worry, they had a really good reason: "It may be the most perfect project on this site. But does that make it the right project?" That little zen koan is courtesy of Mayor Gleam Davis, as recounted by the Santa Monica Daily Press. On more concrete ground, the council was also concerned about the lack of housing in the proposal.

They've asked MPC and fellow competitor Related Cos. (whose project was thought to be too dense for the site) to submit revised proposals that address those concerns, and questions about "the amount of control the City would have over which stores would end up in the site's retail space and exactly how much the City would get from leasing the property," according to the Santa Monica Mirror. It's hoped that updated proposals for the site could be presented to the council in three months. A third developer, Forest City, was left out of the running because their proposal called for the use of public money in building required subterranean parking lot.
· Developers to go back to drawing board [SMDP]
· City Council Not Satisfied with Proposal for Downtown "Dream Site" [SM Mirror]
· Plaza at Santa Monica Archives [Curbed LA]