Sunset, Wilshire, Melrose, Abbot Kinney, Hollywood, Third Street Promenade. Streets are as important to the unique culture and fabric of Los Angeles as they are for transportation and mobility. Winding through hills and under freeways, in and out of neighborhoods and municipalities, they define the flavor and personality of each place. We choose where we live, work, and socialize based on these streets. And we've learned that they are truly missed when we cannot walk them and experience their magic.
Today, Third Street Promenade is one of the world's most iconic streets and has been a model for the many pedestrian-only streets and shopping centers built over the last 30 years. The epitome of the quintessential California lifestyle, it has defined Santa Monica and LA's beach life for decades. Third Street's history in Santa Monica dates back to the 19th century and has been the center of commerce, culture, and community since the beginning. Like many places, Third Street has had its highs and lows, but has always managed to reinvent itself for each new generation.
We stand at the precipice of reinvention today. It is our turn to think big and to guide the street into its next phase to ensure its vitality for the community and beyond.
The Third Street Promenade Stabilization and Economic Vitality Plan (The Promenade Vitality Plan) endeavors to build upon Third Street Promenade's legacy as a strong city center with a diverse mix of uses and experiences that meet the needs and desires of residents, employees and visitors. To be clear, this project is not a remodel of our beloved public gathering space, but rather a rewrite of the rules for what can and can't be done with the private properties beyond the sidewalk.
Our consultants will work with the Project Advisory Committee, stakeholders, focus groups, the City of Santa Monica and Downtown Santa Monica, Inc. (DTSM) staff to devise a plan to edit land use and zoning regulations for the Promenade to allow more flexibility around the use of private space. Our goal is to reconsider the regulations that limit private properties to the retail, dining and office model you see today, and allow them to flourish in an effort to create a modern and equitable downtown inclusive of experiential retail, live entertainment, nightlife, cultural offerings, small scale manufacturing, housing, office, and more. Recommended zoning changes will be complemented by a strategic, targeted tenant strategy for each of the three blocks and tools to help landlords understand how to adapt their spaces to modern market demands.
Together we can create a vibrant street that creates joy and prosperity and connects with the hearts and minds of all those that walk its path.
Vitality Plan Objectives:
- Bridge from the Downtown Community Plan adopted in 2017 to present conditions. Identify existing action items critical to the future success of the Promenade. Identify recommendations for additional action items and/or policies to be considered as modifications to the Plan.
- Incorporate insights from Promenade 3.0, a recent strategic planning process with emphasis on public right of way capital improvements. The draft plan has been shelved due to fiscal impacts of the pandemic, but related work product included a study of the Promenade's social and cultural characteristics as well as cursory assessment of private property conditions and desired uses.
- Analyze existing reports and datasets, including past studies of retail and other market conditions as well as data on consumer demographics and behaviors.
- Analyze regional, state and national trends for similar commercial corridors and/or developments, including competitor destinations.
- Develop granular property-level assessment of current building stock and tenancies, identifying opportunities and strategies for demising and/or redeveloping properties to attract new and desirable uses.
- Identify key redevelopment and/or tenancy projects and assess physical space needs, business models and high-level economic feasibility.
- Identify opportunities to improve community well-being through redevelopment and/or tenancy projects, with a particular focus on enhancing diversity, equity and inclusion among both patrons and business operators.
- Review existing regulations pertaining to land use, zoning and business operations, including interim zoning ordinances adopted as pandemic economic recovery actions, and formulate recommendations for policy changes and/or incentives to achieve desired uses.
- Prepare documentation and outreach materials for presentation of key components of the plan to policymakers, property owners, and prospective tenants and investors.
Promenade 3.0 Outcome
Many of you participated in Promenade 3.0, a recent effort by the City and DTSM to plan for redevelopment of the Promenade streetscape. These design plans are currently on hold due to financial impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on both our public and private sector partners. However, the research conducted and public outreach gathered during Promenade 3.0 will inform the current Vitality Plan effort. For a complete overview of the Promenade 3.0 effort, please see the Strategic Design Plan.
- City Council Study Session, Tue., Feb. 9, 5:30 p.m.
- Property Owner Focus Groups - TBD Spring 2021 (By Invitation)
- Town Hall / Workshop - TBD Spring 2021 (Open to the Public)
- Submit feedback anytime via the comment section below
Official Project Name: Third Street Promenade Stabilization and Economic Vitality Plan
Project Timeline: January 2021 - April 2021
Funding: $230,000 - DTSM Budget
Consulting Partners: MIG, Streetsense, Project Advisory Committee
We want to hear from you Santa Monica! Use our feedback tool to let us know what you are looking forward to, what makes you smile, what makes you want to come out with your friends and family and make lasting memories?
Your participation is critical to this public process. We look forward to hearing your feedback.
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