Ocean Park is the best place to live in Santa Monica. As a realtor, a homeowner and a resident of Ocean Park for over 20 years, I’m interested in protecting the quality of life here. Sometimes it feels like the neighborhood is besieged with (well intentioned or simply money driven) improvement plans. For example: Closing Main Street to all traffic, building a 521 unit – 10 Building, 5 story housing project on the corner of Lincoln & Ocean Park Blvd., building low/affordable income housing on the city owned parking lots behind Main Street.
Here are links to some of these issues with some of my thoughts:
1. Closing Main Street to traffic on a more permanent basis:
This pilot program did not increase business or the quality of life in Ocean Park.
The Actual City report was not released to the public, only to the press. Think about that for a moment – if the pilot program was a success, why would the city wait 4 months and then only release the results to the press and not take a victory lap for a job well done. They tried to control the narrative, the pilot program was a failure, bu don’t take my word for it or anyone else’s, read it and decide for yourself here: http://drive.google.com/file/d/1KZbPnZLMZC9lOBkywOI1U3XFqzo-hHB5/view?usp=sharing
2. Building 521 unit, 5 story housing on the site of Gelson’s grocery store at Lincoln & Ocean Park Blvd.
The developer, Sanmon, Inc., has revealed plans for an 894,385 sq ft project on the site of the Gelson’s lot, which would include 10 buildings, up to 5 stories/65 feet with 521 apartments, and only 10% or 53 affordable units. This would be about 60% larger than Santa Monica Place but on a much smaller site, and the plans sharply reduce neighborhood-serving retail, as discussed below.
Unfortunately, the Ocean Park Association (OPA) has not taken a position on this issue. It’s the biggest development in Ocean Park in the last 40 years, yet the neighborhood association that purports to represents Ocean Park has NO position on the matter. Wow. Were it not for the approximate $5000 a year grant from the City of Santa Monica, or the $ contributions from the Main Street Business Association (MSBIA) – a “1 man-non-profit-lobbyist organization,” OPA would have no money at all.
3. Building low/affordable income housing in the city owned parking lots behind Main Street to meet state mandated housing requirements: Is this really the highest and best use of this land?
Why would the city not push back against this mandate? Why not advocate for it’s current tax paying, voting residents? The Santa Monica Airport is scheduled to close in 2028. There will be 215-230 acres of land available there for all sorts of construction – why not build some housing there?