A public meeting ahead of an environmental review of a major redo and expansion of Martin Automotive Group's showrooms at Olympic Boulevard and Bundy Drive is April 3.
At the meeting, residents can weigh in on the possible impacts of the car dealership's plans to rebuild its Cadillac-Saab-Pontiac-GM showrooms in West Los Angeles, and erect alongside them 516 residential units, 67,000 feet of shops, and an underground parking garage. Owner Dan Martin said the new showrooms will house a new line of all-electric and other environmentally friendly vehicles, including hybrid and zero-emission vehicles.
Dubbed the Martin Expo Town Center, it would add 807,200 square feet of new development on 4.7 acres, with a floor area ratio, a measure of how dense the building is, of 3.9. It will require zoning changes and a state-mandated Environmental Impact Report.
Santa Monica and Brentwood residents are concerned the project is too big and will choke traffic.
"Office space is particularly bad because it adds to the traffic that is already commuting into the area in the morning and out at night," South Brentwood Residents Association member Lauren Cole told Patch Monday. "At least residential space causes commutes in the opposite direction, although at that intersection I'm not sure that matters."
The Martin Expo Town Center plans call for 200,000 square feet of creative office space.
At least seven other developments—including two major mixed-use projects, Bergamot Transit Center at the former PaperMate site and the East Village at the Village Trailer Park—are planned less than one mile west in Santa Monica
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Combined, but not including the Martin Expo Town Center, the projects are forecast to generate about 24,000 new car trips daily in the area, according to estimations by nearby neighborhood councils.
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Another controversial mixed-used development with 638 apartments and a big box retailer is proposed one block east of the 405 Freeway at Pico and Sepulveda boulevards.
The Martin Expo Town Center would connect to a future Expo Light Rail station across the street. Work is underway now to extend the rail line from its current terminus in Culver City to Colorado Avenue and Fourth Street in downtown Santa Monica.
"We understand now with [the] Expo coming in that we have to support other forms of transportation," said Dan Martin, owner of Martin Automotive Group.
Martin said he and his team have done as much early community outreach as they can about the project. They have circulated surveys, and encouraged residents to attend the scoping meeting to address which factors they believe should be studied in Environmental Impact Report.
The scoping meeting is from 6 to 8 p.m., Wednesday, April 3 at The Olympic Collection, 11301 West Olympic Blvd. All written comments for the project are due to city planning by April 19.
For more information about the project, visit the Martin Automotive Group's blog.