Recent years have not been kind to Santa Monica's iconic Third Street Promenade, which has seen stores empty out and a pandemic waylay a planned makeover. But at least one developer is anticipating that things will turn around.

Earlier this year, Sonnenblick-Eichner Company announced that it has arranged a $27.4-million construction loan for a new 25,000-square-foot retail and office building at 1404-1408 Third Street. The new building would have 50 feet of frontage along the promenade, at the site of a 77-year-old building which was razed last year by developer Blatteis & Schnur.

“Funding a speculative retail development in today’s environment is very challenging, however we were able to identify a lender who understood the unique location of this asset and the strength of the developer as well as their ability to execute on their business plan,” said Sonnenblick-Eichner principal David Sonnenblick in a news release

1404-1408 Third StreetGoogle Maps

A renderings depicts the project as a contemporary three-story structure with a with a glass facade and a 2,500-square-foot rooftop deck.

The project could be a welcome shot in the arm for the Promenade, which saw nearly 40 percent of its storefronts go vacant as of 2021. That represents a challenge to the finances of the City of Santa Monica, which has previously relied on the open-air pedestrian mall for 15 percent of its annual sales tax revenue. While a status of a pricey renovation which would have remade the physical environment of the Promenade remains uncertain, business leaders have instead pushed for zoning changes which could attract different types of businesses or development to the corridor.

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