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The city’s tallest apartment building could come to 6th and Colorado


One of the tallest residential buildings in the city’s history is coming to the corner of 6th and Colorado, bringing 264 residential units into a 24-story building adjacent to the Expo Line.

A community meeting was held Monday evening via Zoom to allow local residents to listen and comment on the mixed-use residential-retail project proposal for 601 Colorado.

Hosted by Melissa Sweeney, who served as community liaison, she was joined by Zachary Kadden, Managing Director of Development at Madison Realty Capital, the owners of the new building, along with Jesse Ottinger of Ottinger Architects and Dave Rand, a land use attorney.

The project’s footprint is probably smaller than you might think; it covers only two plots and measures approximately 45 by 50 meters. It will be located between 6th Street and 6th Court, facing Colorado Avenue, across from the Big Blue Bus depot. Currently, that location is home to a row of abandoned outlets that are often used by homeless people as illegal, makeshift shelters.

According to Kadden, the building will have a total of 264 units, of which 224 will be available at market rates and 40 will fall under the affordable housing category.

“There have been some very significant changes in both local zoning rules and state housing laws that have allowed greater densities, greater heights and greater square footage for projects proposing greater amounts of affordable housing,” Rand said.

“This project leverages the full scope of recent changes to the state’s density bonus law to effectively achieve a doubling of the density that would otherwise be allowed under the underlying zoning rules,” he added.

The property was previously one of the Builder’s Remedy projects, but was withdrawn from that process under a 2023 settlement between the city and the developers. The current height far exceeds local zoning restrictions, but state regulations take precedence over local control. Under state rules, projects that designate a percentage of total units as below market price can double the number of units allowed at a given location. Local rules can’t stop developers from building those extra units, meaning projects can ignore typical height and density restrictions.

At approximately 260 feet tall, this project will be approximately three times as tall as the Santa Monica Pier Ferris wheel, making it the tallest building in the city. The proposed 100 Wilshire project consists of 21 floors and although that structure itself is less than 70 meters high, when you add the antennas and antennas it comes to a total height of 266 meters.

Ottinger explains that three retail spaces will be available on the ground floor. “We’re thinking about some potential outdoor dining areas, and we have two smaller neighborhoods that serve retail spaces along Colorado and then the alley to the west, where we have our services with the utilities and parking and charging access along the alley.”

According to Ottinger, the ground floor of 6th Street will include a glass-fronted gym and the main lobby entrance connecting to the interior elevator, along with a mailroom.

Interestingly, the second floor will feature a courtyard, with landscaping, outdoor patio seating and “some small room spaces facing Colorado and Sixth streets” that will allow for ample sunlight. This means that the residential tower itself will not fill the entire footprint.

The apartments themselves will consist of studios, one bedroom and two bedrooms and each will offer at least one balcony, all of which wrap around the tower structure.

The roof will offer outdoor seating, verandas and cabana areas, along with “a large communal lounge area in the center” plus a lawn and other areas that can be used for fitness activities.

“The design concept for the project was basically to give a glassy look to the project (so) we use balconies with glass railings and floor to ceiling glass for the units, giving it a vertical look and a nice, sophisticated feel to the overall design. ,” said Ottinger.

Before the meeting, online comments criticized the project for a lack of parking (it will have just over 100 spaces in total) and for being out of step with the neighborhood, but these concerns were tempered during the presentation, with many participants made positive comments about the project. the project. While parking was a concern for residents on the call, most agreed it will greatly improve the immediate area.

Kadden said this Zoom meeting is a required part of the process with the city of Santa Monica to make the project possible. All information collected will then be presented to the city “in the coming weeks.” Details on how long the project would take to build were not available, but it is believed it would take at least two years, if the Vons redevelopment is any indication.

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