Finally, the New York Times declared Tuesday, two major construction projects are underway to integrate Santa Monica's Civic Center with the rest of downtown.
The Times features the $47 million Tongva Park taking shape across from City Hall and the massive affordable housing project, called The Village, rising up alongside it, and says the two construction projects will help connect what it calls a "forgotten part" of Santa Monica:
City Hall, the courthouse and the Civic Auditorium are isolated from the city’s vibrant and walkable downtown, separated by the Santa Monica Freeway, overly wide streets and a dreary expanse of parking lots.
Finally, after many years of workshops and hearings, significant steps are being taken to better integrate this section with downtown. Two major construction projects are well under way, including the first new residential development on Ocean Avenue in many years.
The Village is part of a broader revamp of the Civic Center area. Among the other projects in the works are: the Colorado Esplanade, a thoroughfare that will serve as the future gateway into downtown and the Expo Light Rail train station at Fourth Street and Colorado.
The article acknowledges, however, that plans to retrofit City Hall, built by the Public Works Administration in 1939, and renovate the 1958 Civic Auditorium were shelved this year in the wake of the dissolution of the state's redevelopment agencies. The Civic will be mothballed in June.
For the full story, "Long Isolated Behind a Freeway, Santa Monica’s Civic Center Rejoins Its City," click over to the New York Times.
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