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Related California breaks ground on $350 million Village at Santa Monica; first major residential development on Ocean Avenue in two decades

Related California today started construction on The Village at Santa Monica, a $350 million mixed-use, mixed-income development that is the final piece in the revitalization of the civic hub in thriving downtown Santa Monica. Steps from the beach, The Village at Santa Monica is an urban mix of 318 luxury condominiums and affordable rental apartments, 20,000 square feet of retail and restaurants, and walkable plazas and gardens. The Village is the first major residential development to be built on highly prized Ocean Avenue in two decades and will offer Pacific Ocean views stretching from Palos Verdes to Point Dume. Adjacent to the RAND headquarters, The Village is within walking distance of a diverse range of Santa Monica attractions and amenities, including the 3rd Street Promenade, public parks and beaches, Main Street, world-class restaurants, shopping, hotels and nightlife. Next door to the Village is the city’s $55 million seven-acre Palisades Garden Walk & Town Square designed by James Corner and expected to be an international landmark when it opens in 2013. One block away is the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium slated for a substantial renovation, followed by a major re-launch with programming by the Nederlander Organization. The iconic art deco Santa Monica City Hall also is scheduled for a $50 million restoration and revitalization. Anchoring the famous 3rd Street Promenade is Santa Monica Place which re-opened in August 2010 after a $265 million renovation as an open-air, upscale center. Finally, The Village will have convenient transit access starting in 2015 when the Expo Line opens connecting Santa Monica to downtown Los Angeles. “The Village will enhance the image of Santa Monica as a place of beauty, style and spirit,” said Mayor Richard Bloom. “The City’s commitment to affordable housing is an integral part of this development. It will help ensure that Santa Monica is an accessible and welcoming community that fosters economic diversity.” “Our intent was to create the ultimate Santa Monica Village,” said Bill Witte, President and CEO of Related California, a premier development company with expertise in both affordable and luxury multi-family residences and mixed-use properties. “We are very sensitive to the responsibility we have for this site that is a one-of-a-kind treasure. Thus, we brought together a superb team that can give it the sense of place it deserves.” Related’s team of designers is led by Santa Monica based architects Moore Ruble Yudell, a leader in sustainable design with major projects around the globe from the U.S. Embassy in Berlin to the Santa Monica Library. MRY designed the master plan, exterior architecture of the condominium buildings and public spaces. Inspired by the tradition of Santa Monica and Venice walk streets that lead to the beach, MRY created a walk street as a central spine through the site, providing pedestrians with a connection from Main Street to Ocean Avenue through landscaped plazas lined with retail, restaurants and outdoor dining. A floating glass sky bridge over the entrance to the walk street welcomes residents and guests into the Village. The Santa Monica firm of Koning Eizenberg Architecture, acclaimed for its residential and cultural work, is the architect for the 160 affordable apartments. Mia Lehrer + Associates, renowned for its work with Santa Monica’s Annenberg Beach House and the Los Angeles River Revitalization, created the harmonious landscape plan. “The Village is at the center of it all,” observes Andy Agle, director of housing and economic development for the city. “It is a block from the Santa Monica terminus of the new Expo Line and within easy walking distance to all major destinations including the beach, Civic Auditorium, 3rd Street Promenade, Ocean Avenue hotels and restaurants, Santa Monica Pier, Palisades Park and, of course, the stunning new Palisades Garden Walk and Town Square.” “This is one of a few condominium projects to be financed in the past year,” noted Witte who pointed out that The Resmark Companies is a partner in the158 condominiums while Community Corporation of Santa Monica is a partner in the 160 affordable apartments. Construction financing is being provided by Wells Fargo Bank and HSBC. “Resmark has a long history and successful track record as an investor in superior real estate properties throughout California. Our investment in The Village is representative of our investment philosophy and an ideal fit with the company’s portfolio of commercial and residential real estate. We are proud to be a partner with Related on this premier project in one of the most desirable oceanfront locations in Southern California,” said Robert N. Goodman, Chairman and CEO, The Resmark Companies. The Village will generate 1,500 construction jobs over its 24-month building cycle with Charles Pankow Builders as general contractor. Completion is slated for January 2014. ###