SANTA MONICA—The city of Santa Monica’s Architectural Review Board met on Wednesday, September 25 to continue discussing what the future Third Street Promenade should look like. Santa Monica is currently undergoing a project called Promenade 3.0, a plan to sustain the landmark with up-to-date infrastructure and amenities. The Architectural Review Board is in favor of keeping the early designs of the buildings dating back to 1910, as they hope it contributes to beating competition with more conventional shopping destinations.

The improvements envisioned for the project seek to help the Promenade “flourish and remain relevant for visitors and residents,”according to the Projects Needs Assessment report published in February. The first series of improvements to be made include a variety of temporary pilot projects to test potential permanent ideas. Some of the temporary improvements are new events and activations that promote community outreach activities, such as:

  • Temporary gathering spaces in a variety of configurations such as tables, chairs, and permanent public benches.
  • Testing of shade and water features that encourage design excellence through competitions and sponsorships.
  • Moveable furniture that test immediate and significant impacts to the way a public space is utilized. The basis of this testing is to mimic the layout of Grand Park, where bulky pink lawn chairs ‘define the public space in a distinctive way’.
  • Public art instillations.
  • Pavilion installations that encourage community members to compete to design and new pavilions for a specific duration of time and changes from year to year.
    This is sought to occur with local support in the form of sponsorships, and solicit
    international design talent.
  • Light festivals.
  • Food and drink festivals.

The projects stakeholders have developed a vision of the Third Street Promenade they state will make it a place that “will remain the heart of Downtown Santa Monica, authentically representing the community’s values, culture, and economy.”

At Wednesday’s meeting, the board concluded on continuing to brainstorm methods to incentivize incoming tenants to preserve the historic landscapes on storefronts rather than re-construct them to individual branding.