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Master Plan for the Third Street Promenade Moves Forward with Council Direction

November 6, 2019 11:20 AM

Master Plan for the Third Street Promenade Moves Forward with Council Direction

SANTA MONICA, Calif. – At its meeting last night, the Santa Monica City Council directed staff to develop a master plan and financing strategy for the redevelopment of the Third Street Promenade as part of a project to define the next thirty years for the iconic pedestrian street. Last night’s meeting followed a year and a half of research, placemaking experiments, and stakeholder engagement that framed the discussion around three areas: programming, policy, and design. 

“Our predecessors were bold in 1989 and it’s time to be bold again as we reimagine the total experience of the Third Street Promenade,” said Mayor Gleam Davis. “It’s time to reinvest in a community asset that has enriched lives and significantly contributed to Santa Monica’s prosperity."  

The project vision is for the Third Street Promenade to remain the heart of Downtown Santa Monica, authentically representing the community’s values, culture, and economy. It will build on the qualities that have made the downtown hub a thriving place. 

“When the Third Street Promenade debuted thirty years ago, it revolutionized the way we look at public space in Southern California,” said City Manager Rick Cole. “It’s the heart of our historic Downtown, the hub of commerce, dining, and entertainment and we are committed to ensuring it continues to be a place beloved by residents and visitors alike. The world is changing, but great public spaces have timeless qualities and we envision the evolution of the Promenade to emphasize the opportunity for people to enjoy a memorable, welcoming, and dynamic experience no matter how often they come.”  

City staff, Downtown Santa Monica, Inc., and design firm Rios Clementi Hale Studios presented opportunities to update the programming, policy, and design of the Promenade. Here are highlights of Council’s guidance: 

  • Create greater flexibility in uses to encourage a diversity of businesses, such as nightlife, arts and culture venues, and roasteries or breweries. 
  • Activate alleys as vibrant pedestrian spaces and leverage underutilized small spaces for uses like galleries and entertainment venues.  
  • Pursue expanding the role and responsibility of Downtown Santa Monica, Inc. for public space management and events programming. 
  • Expand kiosk opportunities for business owners who may not otherwise be able to afford storefront space. 
  • Continue developing a design that imagines a transformation of the streetscape and public amenities. 
  • Incorporate ample public art, movable seating, event and performance spaces, and a market square that integrates the Downtown Farmers Market and would allow for expansion of other market concepts. 

Community members are invited to learn more and provide feedback on the future of the Promenade at an open house on Saturday, December 7 at the Santa Monica Police Department substation in the 1400 block of the Promenade. An exhibit will up through December where residents can stop by and provide input. Details on these opportunities will be posted to santamonica.gov later this month. 

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