Developers of the former Papermate industrial site/possible future Bergamot Transit Village in Santa Monica can only take so much jerking around before they just throw in the towel. According to the Santa Monica Daily Press, Texas-based Hines is pretty seriously thinking about abandoning any dreams of building the intensely controversial project—a massive office/residential/retail campus that's been in the works since 2007—in favor of just renting out the existing office space. Supposedly, Hines is already talking to a pharmaceutical company that's interested in moving into some of the empty warehouses on the site at Twenty-Sixth and Olympic.
Throughout the long, drawn-out battle over the BVT, the idea of Hines using the site as-is ("reoccupation") was perceived by BVT opposition as a bluff, mere "posturing" intended to goad city officials into approving the megaproject. But in May last year, the city took back its approvals after anti-development types filed a lawsuit and threatened a ballot measure over the issue.
Residents fought for years over the BVT because they believed it would create a traffic nightmare. Now reoccupation is looking like an even worse deal. Filling the dormant, 200,000-square-foot factory with new tenants would generate thousands of new car trips to and from the site. Plus, if Hines reoccupies the space, they don't have to provide Santa Monica with any of the community benefits or implement any of the traffic mitigation strategies that were part of their BVT development plan. No applications with the city have been filed yet, says a city planner who oversaw the Hines project. Hines also warned that a sale of the site could be in the cards.
· Hines looking to reoccupy Papermate site [SMDP]
· SaMo Approves Huge Expo-Adjacent Bergamot Transit Village [Curbed LA]
· NIMBYs Force SaMo to Go Backsies on Approvals For Huge Bergamot Transit Village By the Expo Line [Curbed LA]
· The 7-Year History of SaMo's Most Controversial Development [Curbed LA]