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Hines Project Returns to City Council  

By Lookout Staff

August 16, 2011 – Hines is coming back, residents found out from a mailer from the City of Santa Monica sent last week.

The Development Agreement (DA) for the nearly one million square foot replacement to the old Papermate factory at Olympic Boulevard and 26th Street proposed by the Texas developer will be the subject of a public hearing before the City Council next Tuesday, August 23.

The site is considered crucial by city planners because it will be one of the first things Expo riders will see when they enter the city and get off at the future Bergamot Station train stop.

Last March, residents turned out in droves to protest Texas real estate developer Hines' initial plans, which one speaker likened to “ the boxes the Water Garden came in.” Even Planning Director Eileen Fogarty seemed perturbed by the design.

The overarching complaint was that the Hines proposal failed to meet the standards of the city’s 2010 Land Use and Circulation Element (LUCE) update, which calls for a more integrated, community-building approach to development than the City’s old zoning ordinances.

“Massive,” “monolithic” and “corporate” were some of the complaints heard at the March meeting.

Next Tuesday, the council will discuss the DA – an agreement in which the people of the city are supposed to receive benefits in exchange for the developer's right to build its project – for a group of buildings containing “creative arts office space,” ground floor commercial space and housing, including affordable housing, which is supposed to take up to 40 per cent of the project's total area.

Open space, parking and pedestrian and bicycle right of ways at the site are up for discussion too.

The hearing is scheduled for Tuesday, August 23 at 6:45 p.m. It will be held in the City Council Chambers at City Hall, 1685 Main Street, Santa Monica.

For more information, the mailer says to contact City Planner Jing Yeo at (310) 458-8341 or


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