|The Lookout Letter to the editor|
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November 13, 2019 -- These questions were written by the Santa Monica Coalition for a Livable City (SMCLC) to spark discussion and a greater understanding of the proposed project at 4th and Arizona, sited on public land, the process by which it was selected, and the benefits and burdens it would create.
Because this is a project on public land, and the City is in a partnership with the developers, we believe all of the information and documents described below must be released to the public and decision-makers for review and comment before any decisions are made about the project’s future.
1) How much did it cost the City for the collective purchase of the nine contiguous parcels of land (“project site”)?
2) What was/were the source(s) of funds used to purchase the project site?
3) How much are the project site’s current net annual carrying costs to the City?
4) How much do the City’s economic consultants estimate the City’s projected revenues will be for the proposed project if it is built over a 99-year lease term?
5) What is the annual breakdown of all of the proposed City revenues by category, including profit participation, ground rent, sales and tax revenues, bed tax or TOT, parking fees, business licenses, and other revenues?
6) How much do the City’s economic consultants estimate the City’s
7) Did the City’s 4th and Arizona evaluation panel: a) include any Santa Monica resident or business group in selecting the project in response to the Request for Proposals (“RFP) that it received; and b) if so, please identify them.
8) What changes, if any, were made to the proposed project and/or the project alternatives to prepare the scope and content of the Draft Environmental Impact Report (“DEIR”) as the result of the public review and comment period from January 16, 2017 - March 2, 2017?
9) Were any project alternatives discussed but not selected for the DEIR, and if so, what were they?
10) Does the City have an estimate of the current value of the project site and its future enhanced land value if the proposed project is built?
11) Have the developers submitted an up-to-date operating pro forma to the City for the proposed project, showing their cash flow projections and positive net profit returns throughout a 99-year lease term, including their return on equity and internal rate of return?
12) Have the developers submitted up-to-date estimates and pro formas to the City of their construction costs, including financing, leasing costs, and loans?
13) Has the City and/or the developers formulated rules and regulations for how the developers will control and manage the public and semi-public spaces on the project site, including commercial activities, program sponsor branding, hours of operation, safety, security, public access, public parking, and accountability?
14) What is the current plan for the project’s ground floor cultural space (use, long-term funding, prospective tenants, lease term, rent amounts or charges)?
15) Are there any programming activities the developers are currently proposing that are not already being accommodated in the City’s parks and public areas through City programming, and if so, please identify them.
16) Does the current, City Council approved, “reimagining” of the programming and activities for the Third Street Promenade, including new event plazas, change the programming activities the developers are proposing on the project site?
17) Have the number of public parking spaces proposed for the project changed as the result of changed assumptions about retaining existing downtown City public parking lots?
18) How many total vehicle trips and net new PM vehicle trips does the DEIR estimate for this project if it is built?
19) What intersections, including Lincoln Boulevard and I-10 freeway on or off ramps do the DEIR estimate will be significantly impacted or experience future year failures if this project is built?
20) What mitigations, if any, do the developers propose to lessen any of the project’s significant traffic impacts identified in the DEIR?
21) In response to the concern expressed by the Architectural Review Board (“ARB”) as to the south elevation of the project, have the developers prepared perspectives that show the mass and scale of the project from the ground level? If so, please include them in future public presentations about this project.
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