Development-averse Santa Monicans are already ruffled that their city council voted earlier this week in favor of a taller, 148-foot version of the mixed-use Plaza at Santa Monica, designed by starchitect Rem Koolhaas's firm OMA, even though the vote only means that the architects will keep working on the taller design, says the Santa Monica Daily Press. That's right: no ground will be broken as a result of the vote, and nothing's even definitely getting built; all that happens is the firm doesn't have to split its attention between this and the 84-foot design it was also asked to come up with. The Plaza will indeed go through the long, hard approval process, through the Architectural Review Board and the Planning Commission, plus another visit to the city council. Along the way, the Plaza will definitely be met with strong resistance from Santa Monicans, some of whom are already "throwing around words like 'referendum'" in response to the vote for the 148-foot design. (The NIMBY crowd seems emboldened by their recent defeat of the huge Bergamot Transit Village, also achieved via threat of referendum.)
The residents at the vote were vocal about their dislike of both designs; they want a park on the site, even though the city just built the $46-million Tongva Park a few blocks away. The selected Plaza at Santa Monica design would be 12 stories and have 96 housing units, 225 hotel rooms, a cultural venue, 1,200 parking spaces, and extensive outdoor spaces.
· Council favors taller Downtown development option [SMDP]
· Here's the New, Stumpier Starchitect Design For Plaza at SaMo [Curbed LA]
· See All the Renderings For Rem Koolhaas's First Big LA Project [Curbed LA]