SANTA MONICA—Ocean Avenue South, a residential mixed-use, mixed-income development, with more than half of the community containing affordable housing, is a finalist for the 2016 Urban Land Institute Global Awards for Excellence, according to a press release from the City of Santa Monica. Group winners will be announced in October at the ULI Fall Meeting in Dallas, Texas.
“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 Santa Monica’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.”
Over 160 of the homes in Ocean Avenue South are dedicated affordable homes making it the largest affordable housing community supported by city financing. Located two blocks from Pacific Ocean, Ocean Avenue South is a key component in the revitalization of the Civic Center neighborhood and to the City Council’s goal of maintaining an inclusive and diverse community.
The property has brought different uses to the site of the former Rand Corporation headquarters through gardens, 20,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space, and a pedestrian walkway connecting Main Street to Ocean Avenue.
Twenty-six developments are advancing to the final stage for the Global Awards for Excellence with two finalists in Asia, six in Europe and 18 in North America including Ocean Avenue South. The winning project will be selected by an international jury of ULI members who represent a multidisciplinary collection of real estate development expertise. This includes experts in finance, land planning, development, public affairs, design and other professional services.
“It is a great honor to be considered for this global award, but it would not be possible without the City of Santa Monica’s overall vision,” said Bill Witte, Chairman and CEO, Related California. “This model for public-private partnership helped transform Ocean Avenue into a world-class neighborhood with new housing, retail, and amenities.”
A panel of judges toured Ocean Avenue South on June 13. The panelists included Andy Agle, Director, City of Santa Monica Housing & Economic Development Department; Sarah Letts, Executive Director, Community Corporation of Santa Monica; Bill Witte, Chairman & CEO, Related California; among others.
Santa Monica has a goal of maintaining an inclusive and diverse community with efforts towards this goal including an increase of affordable housing, a raise in worker’s incomes and helping residents of Santa Monica stay in their homes.
Recent accomplishments towards this goal includes the City Council’s adoption of a minimum wage increase to $15 per hour by 2020, approval by HUD to increase the amount paid in housing subsidies to help housing voucher holders compete in the housing market, and the HOUSE program that helps incentivize landlords to participate in the housing voucher program.
Ocean Avenue South is one of the last affordable communities supported by the former Santa Monica Redevelopment Agency after 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,” says the press release.
The ULI Global Awards for Excellence program was created in 1979 to recognize real estate projects that achieve a high standard of excellence in design, construction, economics, planning and management. The criteria for the awards includes leadership, contribution to the community, innovations, public/private partnerships, environmental protection and enhancement, response to societal needs, financial viability, architecture, and design.
Anyone wishing for more information on the ULI Global Awards for Excellence can visit uli.org. For more information on Ocean Avenue South, visit www.belmarsantamonica.com.