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Tonight: 710 Wilshire, Bergamot, Chain Reaction

A preview of the March 20 Santa Monica City Council meeting. It starts at 6:30 p.m. in City Hall.

Approval of a new hotel at the corner of 7th Street and Wilshire and discussion of plans to redo the Bergamot Arts Station are among the big items the Santa Monica City Council will take up tonight.

It's also slated to affirm a recommendation from the city's Arts Commission that it give the community six months to

710 Wilshire

The over-sized 285-room hotel at 710 Wilshire Blvd. would tower 81 feet high and be built around the existing, historic Santa Monica Professional Building. With 15,000 square feet of ground-floor commercial space, the project is supposed to rejuvenate the mid-city neighborhood.

In exchange for building bigger than what’s allowed by zoning codes, the property owner has agreed to, among other concessions: rehab the professional building; contribute $244,000 for ; achieve LEED Silver certificate or equivalent; establish a local hiring program for construction and permanent employees; and

The council is scheduled to approve the agreement with developers tonight and certify an environmental review of the project.

With the at the renowned 5.6-acre art gallery complex at 2525 Michigan Ave., city officials say it's time to enliven the area and generate more revenue to subsidize the .

City planners, based on public input, have come up with a plan to preserve existing art galleries while adding a new 88-room boutique hotel; a 400-space parking structure and building a 2-3 story “signature” building, possibly for the , that would also include a theater and café.

The council will discuss the proposals and could give staffers approval to seek out developers to build out the plan.

"Chain Reaction"

Salty ocean air and the rain have corroded parts of the 26-foot tall fiberglass mushroom cloud sculpted by cartoonist Paul Conrad, and city officials say there's not enough money in public coffers to restore it.

The Arts Commission, an advisory board to the City Council, is asking that the public be given six months to raise half a million dollars to do a study and repairs of the artwork, titled "Chain Reaction." Conrad's son, Dave, .

Conrad has said he needs the council's support before he begins a search for donors.

 

To view the March 20 agenda in its entirety, visit smgov.net/cityclerk/council/agendas. The meeting starts at 6:30 p.m. in at 1685 Main St.

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