A staff report to the Santa Monica Architectural Review Board unveils a new look for a mixed-use project planned near the Metro E Line's Downtown terminus.

The project, which is being developed by WS Communities, would rise from a corner site at the intersection of 7th Street and Colorado Avenue.  Plans call for the construction of an eight-story, 84-foot-tall building containing 41 single room occupancy apartments, 18 full apartments, and 2,267 square feet of ground-floor commercial space.  No automobile parking is planned.

The staff report describes the design by KFA Architecture is that of a modern infill project, using corner step backs to reduce its massing, and employing a layer of framed balconies extending from a rectangular form.  Plans call for cement plaster finish, accented by dark grey metal panels at corner elevations and the street-facing front facades.

The new design differs substantially from an earlier iteration of the project presented to the Architectural Review Board in December 2019, which had a more colorful appearance, but was dismissed by Board members as not having a clear overall design concept.

The staff report recommends that the project, called 701 Colorado for its address, should be approved.

The developer, WS Communities, owns adjoining properties at 1543 7th Street and 711 Colorado Avenue, both of which are also slated for multifamily housing developments.  The developer is also in the midst of construction on a similar project at the intersection of Colorado and Lincoln Boulevard.