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Design Board to Review Another Tight-Fitting Downtown Project
 

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By Jorge Casuso

September 15, 2022 -- A month after taking up a tight-fitting hotel project, Santa Monica's design board on Monday will review an affordable housing development that squeezes an eight-story 38-unit building into a single-family-sized lot Downtown.

The 38,968-square-foot project -- which has tight setbacks and no parking -- would replace a 2,162-square-foot rental office and surface parking lot at 1333 7th Street next to the Downtown fire station.

Affordable Housing Development at 1333 7th Street
Affordable Housing Development at 1333 7th Street (Rendering courtesy Patrick Tighe Architecture)

The 100 percent affordable housing project features 34 two-bedroom units of nearly 1,000 square feet each and four one-bedroom units, according to plans submitted to the Architectural Review Board (ARB) by Patrick Tighe Architecture.

Divided into three separate masses, the long, narrow structure towers above the neighboring low-slung buildings but is appropriate for the downtown area, staff said.

"The proposed project is situated on a 50’ wide parcel, and given the challenges that the parcel width presents to programming, efficiency, and circulation, the project maximizes the site," staff wrote in its report.

If approved by the ARB, which can only review design issues, the project would need only an administrative approval from planning staff before permits are pulled.

The parcel at 1333 7th Street was sold for $75,000 in 1976, and the existing office structure was built in 1978, according to ReMax. The property sold in October, 2021 for $5 million.
Hotel project at 516 Colorado Avenue
Hotel project 516 Colorado Avenue
(Courtesy Howard Laks

The ARB hearing on Monday comes one month after it reviewed another 8-story project on an even smaller site at 516 Colorado Avenue that also would have no parking on-site.

The proposed 21,921-square-foot, eight-story hotel with 74-guest rooms is divided into four separate building blocks on a 41.75-foot by 150-square-foot parcel.

Two subterranean levels would accommodate a fitness center, business center, banquet room and other “back-of-house” operations, staff said.

Unlike the proposed affordable housing project at 1333 7th Street, the hotel development requires a Development Review Permit (DRP) approved by the Planning Commission.

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