The LookOut news

Facelift Makes Park More Accessible

By Elizabeth Schneider

Oct. 2 -- A Santa Monica park is about to become a bit more public, after the Architectural Review Board approved plans Monday that will make Colorado Center's open spaces more accessible.

The proposed plan adds public entrances along Colorado Boulevard, including a pedestrian ramp, and makes minor changes to the tress, shrubs and ground cover that surround the office park's courtyard, which includes a recreation area with tennis courts, a volleyball court and basketball court.

The proposed project also makes changes to the paving and the buildings' exteriors, and adds low concrete walls with ledger stone, wooden benches, translucent resin identity pylons of varying colors and a new fountain.

Under the plan, the second story pedestrian bridge linking 2400 and 2500 Colorado Boulevard will be demolished, a foot court redesigned and a new play space for children attending day care added.

Although the park has always been pubic as stipulated by the development agreement, it has mostly been used by employees at the office complex, which was recently sold by MGM.

Two months ago, City Councilman Ken Genser received several complaints from neighbors who said they were asked by security guards stationed at the entrance of the MGM Center park to show identification.

One neighbor told Genser that on one occasion they were unable to enter the park because an entrance gate was locked.

"Staff looked into it… they [property management] don't have a right to do this," said Genser.

Staff spoke with the property manager, who said he would fix the problem, Genser said. "About week to ten days later the park was reopened," he said.

There is no link between past complaints and plans to redesign the park, Genser added.

With MGM slated to vacate the property, it's time the 10-year-old complex was refurbished, he said.

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