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Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Miramar’s Owner Rethinking Project

Miramar’s Owner Rethinking Project


Staff Reporter

The owner of the Fairmont Miramar Hotel, shot down by the Santa Monica Planning Commission on plans to build a high-rise apartment building adjacent to the hotel, has gone back to the drawing board.

Matt Dinapoli, executive vice-president of Maritz-Wolff & Co., which owns the hotel, said the company was looking at concessions it could make to the city to allow construction to move forward.

The original proposal included a 16-story tower containing 75 luxury residential units and 1,685 square feet of ground-floor retail; a four-story building with 27 market-rate apartments and 8,360 square feet of retail; and another four-story building that would contain a renovated ballroom and possibly a new spa. The development parcel is at the corner of Ocean Avenue and Wilshire Boulevard.

There would also be another four-story building on Second Street containing nearly 40 affordable housing units. The project would include a subterranean parking garage for 700 vehicles enough for residents, visitors, hotel employees and 150 spaces for public use.

Dinapoli declined to estimate the project’s cost, but its initial scope was comparable to an 85-unit, 280,000-square-foot luxury condominium project planned for Wilshire Boulevard and Malcolm Avenue in Westwood and estimated to cost $70 million.

Dinapoli said the company had not configured how many of the units would be condominiums and how many would be apartments.

Nearby condos are selling on average for $387,000, according to DataQuick Information Systems. Meanwhile, the average rent in Santa Monica is $2,436 a month, according to Novato-based RealFacts.

Dinapoli pitched the proposal to the city’s planning commission in early December and received a scathing review. Much of the objections centered on the tower, which commissioners complained would block views of the Pacific Ocean and add a heavy dose of traffic to already over-taxed streets.

Dinapoli declined to say what the company is doing to satisfy city leaders.

“Whatever we decide to do at that intersection will need tremendous public support,” he said. “It’s a high profile intersection and it’s just too expensive and unproductive to fight over something like this.”

Since the planning commission’s review, company representatives have been meeting with city council members individually to explain their plans and gather more feedback, said Santa Monica Planning Director Suzanne Frick.

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