A newly-published draft environmental study offers more information on plans for a Frank Gehry-designed mixed-use development in Downtown Santa Monica.

The Ocean Avenue Project, which is being developed by Worthe Real Estate Group, would rise from an L-shaped property at the intersection of Ocean and Santa Monica Boulevard.  Plans call for razing much of the nearly two-acre site - currently improved with small commercial buildings and surface parking - to make way for the construction of:

  • a 120-room hotel with amenities and meeting rooms;
  • 100 apartments - including deed-restricted affordable units;
  • 36,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space; and
  • a 35,000-square-foot museum and gallery campus.

Worthe also intends to relocate and restore two existing landmarked buildings - 1333 and 1337 Ocean Avenue - as part of the cultural campus.

Gehry's design for the complex calls for a series of buildings as large as 130 feet in height - the tallest allowable in the Downtown Santa Monica Community Plan.  Renderings depict contemporary structures with modulated facades that are similar in appearance to other local Gehry projects.

A series of walkways would cut through the property, allowing pedestrians to walk between Ocean, Santa Monica, and 2nd Street.  Ground-floor open spaces would be supplemented by terraces on upper buildings levels, including a public observation deck above the hotel.

According to the project's environmental study, construction is expected to occur in a single phase over 34-to-36 months.  A groundbreaking is anticipated in late 2021, and occupancy is scheduled to occur in late 2024.

The Ocean Avenue Project is amongst the largest developments planned in Downtown Santa Monica.  Two blocks north at Ocean and Wilshire Boulevard, MSD Capital plans to expand upon the Miramar hotel with a 10-story structure designed by Pelli Clarke Pelli.  Three blocks east, a City-owned parking lot is slated to be developed with a hotel and office complex designed by OMA.

Worthe Real Estate Group, the developer behind the Ocean Avenue Project, is also working with Frank Gehry on the Warner Bros. Second Century expansion in Burbank.