SANTA MONICA, Calif. — The Urban Land Institute (ULI) announced today that Related California’s Ocean Avenue South residential mixed-use, mixed-income development in Santa Monica, California was one of eleven real estate development projects from around the globe selected by an international jury as winners in the ULI 2016 Global Awards for Excellence program, widely recognized as one of the land use industry’s most prestigious awards programs. This year’s winners—representing projects in Asia Pacific, Europe, and North America—were honored at the ULI Fall Meeting in Dallas, Texas. Ocean Avenue South is the only development in the Greater Los Angeles area to win the 2016 award.
“We are proud that Ocean Avenue South, with more than half of its homes affordable to low- and moderate-income families, is the only Los Angeles-area property considered for the prestigious global award," said Andy Agle, Director of the City’s Housing and Economic Development Department. “Through the public-private partnership with Related California and Community Corporation of Santa Monica, 160 families have a place to call home that is affordable and part of a beautiful and vibrant project.”
Located in the heart of Santa Monica, just two blocks from the Pacific Ocean, Ocean Avenue South is a key component to both the revitalization of the Civic Center neighborhood, and the City Council’s strategic goal of maintaining an inclusive and diverse community. More than half of the residences at Ocean Avenue South, a total of 160, are dedicated affordable homes, making it the largest affordable housing community supported by City financing. The property brings a diversity of uses to the former site of the RAND Corporation headquarters, including gardens, 20,000-square feet of retail and restaurant space, as well as a pedestrian walkway connecting Main Street to Ocean Avenue.
“The ULI Global Award is a tremendous honor. We are grateful and thankful to the City of Santa Monica for granting us the opportunity to work with them on this redevelopment effort,” said Bill Witte, Related California Chief Executive Officer. “We believe that our partnership is a workable model for other municipalities to provide both needed affordable housing and a vital economic stimulus for the neighborhood.”
The City’s strategic goal of maintaining an inclusive and diverse community includes efforts like increasing affordable housing, raising workers’ incomes, and helping Santa Monicans stay in their homes. Recent accomplishments in this goal area include Council’s adoption of a minimum wage increase to $15 an hour by 2020; approval from HUD to increase the amount paid for housing subsidies to help housing voucher holders compete in the tough housing market; and the HOUSE program, which incentivizes landlord participation in the housing voucher program.
Ocean Avenue South represents one of the last affordable communities supported by the former Santa Monica Redevelopment Agency. Until 2012, the agency provided the bulk of local funding for affordable housing in Santa Monica. The State of California eliminated all local redevelopment agencies in 2012. Communities throughout the state, including Santa Monica, are now struggling with how to promote community diversity in light of significantly diminished resources for affordable housing.
“The Global Awards for Excellence showcase efforts that have both succeeded in pushing ingenuity and exemplifying best practices in land use across the globe,” said Patrick L. Phillips, ULI global chief executive officer. “This year’s winners have demonstrated a committed contribution to responsible real estate development and a dedication to building thriving, livable communities.”
The awards competition, now in its 38th year, recognizes real estate developments that achieve a high standard of excellence in design, construction, economics, planning, and management. The program, open to all and not limited to ULI members, is viewed as the centerpiece of the Institute’s efforts to identify and promote best practices in all types of real estate development.
The Awards for Excellence program is based on the Institute’s guiding principle that the achievement of excellence in land use practice should be recognized and rewarded. ULI’s Global Awards for Excellence recognize the full development process of a project, not just its architecture or design. The criteria for the awards include leadership, contribution to the community, innovations, public/private partnerships, environmental protection and enhancement, response to societal needs, and financial viability.
For more information on the ULI Global Awards for Excellence, visit uli.org. For more information on Ocean Avenue South, visit www.belmarsantamonica.com.