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Venice Update

News of Venice, CA and Marina del Rey CA

VCH Director and Architect Moss Unveil Plans for Venice Median


A crowd anxiously awaited the unveiling of the plans for the Venice Median last week at the Pacific Resident Theatre on Venice Blvd and then vented their responses.

Becky Dennison, director of Venice Community Housing, introduced Eric Owen Moss, the architect. Moss wanted to explain the process that took place in determining the structure/s that he was going to introduce to the audience but members in the audience kept heckling him to show the building.

He explained that he had met the setback and height limits of the Venice Specific Plan and in some cases had exceeded these requirements. With the proposed RAS3 zoning, which means Residential Accessory 3 that translates into a combination of commercial and R-3 zoning, he could go a maximum of 45 feet. He did show an example but it got confusing to the audience. One architect said this zoning was the closest to the RFQ/P  requirement of R-3 with commercial added.

His design puts the required 188-parking spaces in the front building (on Pacific) and puts the required parking for all the residential and commercial units in the second building (near Dell). Apartments are planned to wrap around the parking, which is to be in the center, and the commercial will be on the first floor. The final design will incorporate the public boat access and access for the City maintenance contractor and the required parking for both.

He showed views in mockup form of the surrounding buildings which he said he tried to capture the various roof-line variations into his design. The design consists of two buildings separated by the canal.  This is what will go in structures.

  • Housing = 75,000 sq ft
  • Neighborhood serving retail/Social enterprise/Flexible arts spaces = 10,500 sq ft
  • Parking = 420 spaces (including 188 existing public parking spaces); Footprint of parking = 37,400 sq ft (continuous ramp layout)

This is the largest piece of property to be developed in Venice, probably since Abbot Kinney’s day. The MTA lot on Pacific-Main, yet to be developed, is larger. The Thatcher yard lot is smaller.

One thing one can count on about Venetians is that the number of people in the group is equal to the number of opinions.

In general people were concerned that the design was not charming, when Moss explained that charming meant a combination of old and new. It looked to them like a large building even though it displayed a lot of architectural relief. Not enough play area for children. The roof will be grassy area; the beach is a block away. Why commercial, “if we are housing the homeless.” At previous workshops, people wanted commercial space.  One person said he would like to move in.

Below is the timeline for the project from final design to funding and pictures of various sides of the buildings.


Image shown is between the buildings where the canal is.

Side view.

Front view of commercial.

Looking at east end of building facing Dell Ave.

Comments (6)

  1. Billy Zanatakos

    Great plan, We are on our way to approval.

  2. Nick Antonicello

    Where is the City Comptroller to investigate and audit these actions? How much is the architect in question receiving in fees from this disaster that will decrease property values while creating a ghetto-like structure?

  3. Lee

    Notice how they’ve increased the size of surrounding buildings while downsizing the height and girth of their project, don’t be fooled!

  4. Anonymous

    John McManamy posted: “A multilayered monstrosity of boxes that does nothing to house the homeless.” Yep, but it sure does transfer some of that big government money to a local nonprofit developer. They have been doing this for years, spending millions of taxpayer’s dollars to house dozens in one of the most expensive areas of LA.

  5. john mc manamy

    A multilayered monstrosity of boxes that does nothing to house the homeless. We’ve been sold sunshine again!

  6. Nick Antonicello

    This presentation was a joke and that architect is an obnoxious jerk who has the personality of running water. Just how much is this guy going to make? The whole thing is an insult to any clear thinking Venetian.

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