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Venice Update

News of Venice, CA and Marina del Rey CA

Santana Says Venice Median and Thatcher Yard to be Developed; Names Developers

Venice Median

Venice Median


Thatcher Yard

Thatcher Yard


Note: This announcement is almost verbatim from the Council Office and written by David Graham-Caso, communications director.


The City Administrative Officer (CAO) Miguel Santana is recommending that eight city-owned parcels throughout Los Angeles be the first wave of properties considered for housing development.

In Venice, the CAO is recommending that Thomas Safran & Associates be given the chance to work with the community to design a proposal for the old Thatcher Yard, and that the team of Hollywood Community Housing Corporation and Venice Community Housing Corporation be given the chance to work with the community to design a proposal for the Dell Pacific parking lot.The size and type of housing in each proposal will be determined following the community input process that Mike has insisted the developers conduct.

Once Thomas Safran Associates or Hollywood Community Housing Corp/Venice Community Housing Corp. create and submit their proposals, they will be subject to the same process as any development proposal in Venice – which includes review and public input at the neighborhood council, through the Department of City Planning, the full City Council, and most likely, the California Coastal Commission.

Thomas Safran & Associates has three properties on the Westside: Del Rey Square, 124 units of low-income housing for seniors, including 30 formerly homeless seniors, in Del Rey; Redwood Village, 50 units of low-income senior housing in Marina del Rey; and the newly opened The Woods at Playa Vista, 83 units of senior low-income housing in Playa Vista. (Thomas Safran & Associates was also selected to create a proposal for a former animal shelter in West Los Angeles.)

Venice Community Housing & Hollywood Community Housing have a recently opened building in Del Rey, the Gateway Apartments, offering 21 units for formerly homeless people. VCHC operates more than 16 buildings and offers more than 200 units of housing on the Westside. Hollywood Community Housing Corporation has more than 20 buildings and 700 units of housing, mostly in the Hollywood area.

“Thomas Safran & Associates and the team of Hollywood Community Housing and Venice Community Housing are already part of the solution on the Westside, and I am excited to learn there is a potential for these organizations to provide more housing here for those who most need it,” said Councilmember Mike Bonin. “Voters just approved Proposition HHH, allowing us to help build 10,000 units of affordable or homeless housing in Los Angeles. I hope Thomas Safran & Associates, HCHC, and VCHC will be able to be among the first to help fulfill the voters commitment. I look forward to the start of their community outreach efforts, and I am eager to see what sort of proposals they offer.”

The types of housing that the CAO recommends be included in the proposal include: permanent supportive housing, affordable multi family housing, mixed income housing, affordable homeownership, and what the CAO describes as “innovative methods of housing.”  Innovative methods of housing in this case are described as “modular, prefab, or micro units.”

CAO to Announce Mid-November Fate of Venice Properties; More City Sites To Be Designated

The fate of the two Venice properties designated for homeless, affordable will be announced mid-November, according to David Graham-Caso, communications director for Councilman Mike Bonin. The City Administrative Officer (CAO) Miguel Santana met with members of Council District 11 Tuesday.

There are 12 sites that were designated earlier this year to be developed by the City for homeless, affordable or sold and monies used for homeless elsewhere. Two of the properties are in Venice and have become the talk of the town for Venetians.

The two properties in question are the Venice Median site between north and south Venice Blvd at Pacific, zoned open space, used as a parking lot, and designated for homeless; and the Thatcher Yard in the Oxford Triangle, formerly used as a public utility yard, and designated for affordable housing.

“I can tell you that 49 developers responded to the request for proposals and qualifications with 73 development strategies (that is the total for all 12 vacant or underused properties throughout the city – not just the two in Venice),” according to David Graham-Caso. “When the CAO reports to the Council in mid-November, the report will include recommendations for either selling the properties or for developers to be given the opportunity to go out to the communities near the properties and try to come up with site-specific proposals for those specific properties.”

The Venice Update has asked the CAO office for the criteria used to determine development or sale but has not been given the information.

“As we have discussed before,” wrote Graham-Caso, “the approval process (if a development is pursued at a site) is one proscribed by law. Like any other development proposal, it needs to go through the various steps of the planning process (neighborhood council, planning commission, council). And in Venice, most projects get appealed to the California Coastal Commission.

“Additionally, the CAO informs us that in the next few months they will be also be examining an additional two dozen properties — in other parts of the city — for potential use or sale for affordable housing.”

Town Hall Shows Venetians Not Happy with Procedures, with Results

Many Venetians had to stand Thursday night for the town hall homeless meet at Westminster Elementary School.

Councilman Mike Bonin provided status updates to a packed audience of Venetians and listened to Venetians explain that they, for the most part, did not appreciate his system of “non-participation” with the residents or resident-participation after the fact.

Bonin came with representatives from the county, the mayor, the Chief Administrative Officer Miguel Santana, head of Los Angeles Housing Services Authority, and head of the new police task force called Hope.

Bonin explained with visual aids the situation and then CAO Miguel Santana explained how it was going to work.

City Administrative Officer Miguel Santana explains how the RFQ/P (request for proposal) works.

City Administrative Officer Miguel Santana explains how important it is for homeless to be housed first and then get the services.

City Administrative Officer Miguel Santana explains why the homeless housing has to be spread throughout Los Angeles as opposed to selling in high income areas and purchasing “more for the buck” is lesser income areas.

There were about 80 speaker cards and all were allowed to speak taking the town hall to 11 pm.

One lady near the end said she used to be an appraiser for industrial/commercial properties and she said it was evident that the properties in question could produce more facilities if properties in question were sold and properties were purchased where land was more reasonable.

The two properties are prime, less than 1000 feet from the water, and are where many a tax-payer could only hope to live. Santana then explained that one could not sell all the expensive property and buy where it is cheap. See video.