Santa Monica's newfound vision of modest downtown growth and mid-rise development has forced world-famous architect Frank Gehry to rework plans for a mixed-use project along the city's tony Ocean Avenue. Spearheaded by Worthe Real Estate Group and M. David Paul and Associates, the development originally called for a 22-storey hotel and residential tower.

The updated Ocean Avenue Project, image via Gehry Partners

Plans have been shrunk in response to new limitations imposed by the city's Downtown Community Plan. The result is a significant drop in height to 12 storeys, with the structure rising no more than 130 feet high. While the rules now cap building heights at 84 feet, the project is allowed to top out at the higher ceiling in exchange for community benefits.

The original plan, image via Gehry Partners

The 12-storey building would contain the hotel and a publicly accessible observation deck measuring approximately 3,500 square feet, with 79 market rate and affordable apartments scattered across the property. A shorter tower at the other end of the property is also planned. The condominium portion of the project has been entirely removed in the updated scheme.

A commercial retail podium and 40,000-square-foot museum join the two buildings together and encompass extant landmarked buildings dated from 1906 and 1926. Courtyards and paseos designed for porosity dedicate about 25 percent of the site to public open space at the ground level.

The updated Ocean Avenue Project, image via Gehry Partners

M. David Paul acquired the property at 101 Santa Monica Boulevard over 40 years ago and assembled the surrounding lots in 2007 with the help of Worthe and other partners. The development was put on hold while officials created the new height rules and design guidelines, which were approved in July 2017.

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Related Companies:  Gehry Partners, M. David Paul Associates, Worthe Real Estate Group