Plans for a Frank Gehry-designed development in Downtown Santa Monica have taken an important step forward. 

Last week, the City of Santa Monica issued a notice of preparation for an environmental impact report for the Ocean Avenue Project, a proposed mixed-use development at the corner of Ocean and Santa Monica Boulevard from Worthe Real Estate Group.

The project, as currently imagined, calls for the construction of mid-rise and low-rise structures, as well as the preservation of two landmarks homes fronting Ocean Avenue.  The mixed-use development will incorporate rental housing, a hotel, a conference facility, a museum, a public observation deck, and roughly 35,000 square feet of shops and restaurants lining the ground plane.

The centerpiece of Gehry's design is the proposed hotel - a 12-story building that would contain up to 120 guest rooms with 12,500 square feet of amenities and meeting space.  The hotel would rise to an architectural apex of 130 feet - which is the maximum height allowable under the Downtown Santa Monica Community Plan - capped by a 5,000-square-foot rooftop observation deck, which would be accessed by an elevator outside the main lobby.

Two smaller buildings - one located at the corner of Ocean and Santa Monica, and the other located at Second Street and Santa Monica - would feature podium structures containing commercial uses with apartments located above.  The two structures, with maximum heights of 96 feet and 106 feet, would contain upwards of 100 mixed-income apartments.

At 1333 Ocean Avenue and 1337 Ocean Avenue, existing Queen Anne-style and Spanish Colonial Revival-style homes are to be rehabilitated and relocated on the property.  Worthe intends to incorporate the historic structures into a 42,000-square-foot museum and cultural campus.

The project also calls for realigning an existing alley which runs through the project site in an L-shaped configuration, thus allowing part of the right-of-way to be turned into a pedestrian paseo.

A timeline for the Ocean Avenue Project has not been announced.

Worthe's proposed development joins two other large mixed-use projects in the works for Downtown Santa Monica which are also designed by notable architects.  At Ocean Avenue and Wilshire Boulevard, a Pelli Clarke Pelli-designed development could remake the Miramar Hotel.  At 4th Street and Arizona Avenue, an OMA-designed development is also making its way through the approval process.