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Colorado Place Reaches Midpoint in Construction : $550-Million Project in Santa Monica Approved Despite Opposition from Slow-Growth Proponents

February 07, 1988|EVELYN De WOLFE | Times Staff Writer

With the topping out of two mid-rise structures at Colorado Place in Santa Monica, Southmark Pacific Corp. has reached the halfway point in its $550-million multi-use complex.

Colorado Place is being developed in three phases on 28 acres in the community's Special Office District. Boundaries for Phases 1 and 2 are Colorado Avenue on the south, Cloverfield Boulevard on the west, Broadway on the north and 26th Street on the east.

The project, which was given the official green light last October for its second and third phases, has been faced with considerable controversy and has been the focus of negotiations between the community, city government and the developer for eight years. Final approval by the Santa Monica City Council was won by the developer in spite of threats of a referendum from leaders of the city's burgeoning slow-growth movement.

Phase 1, completed in 1984, contains 500,000 square feet of office and retail space, including The Market, a 45,000-square-foot indoor pavilion/restaurant center, a child day-care center and parking for 1,750 vehicles.

The Market is offered to nonprofit community groups at no cost and hosts more than 100 community, cultural and fund-raising events annually.

The first two buildings in Phase 2 contain a total of 311,000 square feet; 145,000 square feet in a five-story unit and 166,000 square feet in a six-story structure. A third, 230,000 square-foot, five-story building, 3.5-acre park and cinema complex are also planned for the 541,000-square-foot Phase 2.

Southmark Pacific, a widely diversified, Pasadena-based real estate firm, has received City Council approval for a 12-year development agreement to build the 1-million-square-foot final phase of Colorado Place.

This portion of the complex will have a 300-room hotel on Cloverfield between Olympic and Colorado boulevards, 650,000 square feet of office space west of the hotel to 20th Street, health club, retail and restaurant space. Construction of the hotel is scheduled to begin late this year, with its opening slated for 1990.

The approval of Phases 2 and 3 and the topping out of Phase 2 have been major milestones for the Colorado Place project, said Paul J. Guintini, president of Southmark Pacific Corp.

"The fees, jobs, taxes, traffic improvements and other benefits generated by the total Colorado Place concept will bring to the city of Santa Monica positive commercial development that will also enhance the quality of life within the community," he said.

Millions in Fees

"While many developers avoid Santa Monica because of its tough development reputation, we at Southmark Pacific have always believed it is possible to build successfully here."

He noted that as Colorado Place is completed, Southmark Pacific Corp. will pay more than $8 million to the city in development fees. These funds will be used for parks, affordable housing and traffic improvements within the city.

The architect for the project's first two phases is Welton Becket Associates, Santa Monica; general contractor is The Miner-Dederick Cos. of Houston and Los Angeles.

Others on the construction team are Lockwood Andrews & Newnam of Houston, mechanical and plumbing; Mid-West Electric Co. of Midland, Tex., electrical contractor; the Los Angeles-based firms of Erkel, Greenfield & Associates, structural engineers;, Rogoway/Borkovetz Associates, civil engineer, and POD, landscaping.

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