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Plaza at Santa Monica development trudging forward

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The project has been altered a number of times—will those changes satisfy Santa Monica residents?

Plaza at Santa Monica redesign City of Santa Monica

The recently pared-down and long-in-the-works Plaza at Santa Monica moved forward last week with the release of its draft environmental impact report.

The downtown Santa Monica project, developed by Metropolitan Pacific Capital and Clarett West Development, would raze bank buildings and surface level parking lots and put a mixed-use development with offices, shops, hotel rooms, and parking on the property bordered by Fourth and Fifth streets and Arizona Avenue.

Designed by Rem Koolhaas’s firm OMA, VTBS Architects, and the landscape architecture firm Olin, the project has been in the works for years.

After a number of tweaks and height reductions, the version of the Plaza at Santa Monica that’s moving forward now would bring 280 hotel rooms, more than 100,000 square feet of office space, and 42,000 square feet retail space to the site. At its highest point, the development would reach 12 stories tall.

The project would either include 48 affordable residential units or money toward building 130 affordable units somewhere off-site, but in the downtown Santa Monica area. A public plaza is also part of the project.

Even in its shortened form, the project faced push-back from some residents who want the city-owned site to be transformed into a public park.