A staff report to the Santa Monica Architectural Review Board has unveiled a new look for WS Communities' proposed mixed-use development at 1543 7th Street.

The project, which would replace a three-unit apartment building and a light industrial building, calls for the construction of an eight-story edifice featuring 100 market-rate apartments and 4,480 square feet of ground-floor retail space.

KFA Architecture is designing 1543 7th Street, which is described as a contemporary infill project.  Its front facade consists of a pair of large, framed masses comprised of recessed balconies of alternating heights.

The new design resulted from criticism levied against the project at an April 2019 presentation by the same body.  In that preliminary design review, Board members noted that the project had little three-dimensional variation and lacked sufficient on-site open space.

In response, KFA altered the look of the building's front facade and expanded a proposed rooftop deck.

Another change includes the expansion of the project's parking garage.  Original plans called for a three below-grade levels featuring 85 non-required vehicle stalls.  The new plan increased that total to 104 parking spaces.

The staff report recommends that the Architectural Review Board should approve the new design for 1543 7th Street.

The proposed project has been placed on an expedited processing timeline due to a settlement agreement negotiated between WS Communities and the City of Santa Monica in June 2019 pertaining to six single-room occupancy housing developments in the Downtown area.  One of those projects, slated for a vacant lot at 1514 7th Street, will be used to satisfy the affordable housing requirements of the market-rate 1543 7th Street building.

WS Communities is also building another 100-unit housing complex on an adjoining property at the corner of Lincoln Boulevard and Colorado Avenue.