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Ignored in Mayor Carolyn Goodman's State of the City Address was her enthusiastic reference to the huge retail and restaurant complex she hopes will surround downtown's Mob Museum by the end of the year.
First proposed in 2012, the 104,000-square-foot shopping center will feature a six-story garage, three primary tenant buildings and create a new plaza surrounding the museum. The project is located across the street from the Downtown Grand and comes from the minds of the C.I.M. Group, who own the recently opened resort.
Downtown 3rd [Rendering: C.I.M. Group]
The mayor's rousing endorsement puts the project back in focus after lying dormant since last summer and her speech vouched progress on the center was "just around the corner." While the building of the Downtown Grand stalled the momentum, the CBRE Group, a national real estate juggernaut, actively sought out suitable tenants.
Rumors momentarily swirled last year this was to be the perfect home for downtown's first substantial grocery store, but all publicly available plans make no mention of who is filling the spaces.
The site is broken down into three buildings. Three major tenants can fit into Building One's 52,000 square feet of retail. Building Two has a single 12,000-square-foot occupant and Building Three hosts the fifth main anchor retailer with a 6,000-square-foot shop floor. On the second story of the first two buildings, the space will be broken up into smaller stores.
During preliminary 2013 planning hearings for this project, tentative suggestions were voiced for the new plazas to feature street performers and musical events, ideas now familiar to visitors to Fremont Street's Container Park.
Once construction begins, the most immediately impacted will be the weekly Downtown 3rd Farmers Market, housed in the former Downtown Transportation Building and destined to be torn down to make way for Building 1. The Mob Museum will be unaffected by the changes, but will naturally benefit from the increased foot traffic and ease of parking so close to the attraction.
C.I.M. and the mayor both cite the company's role in helping revitalize downtown Santa Monica around the Third Street Promenade as an example of what could be coming. While no new construction permits have yet surfaced this year, the mayor's seal of approval and very public endorsement should be seen as a green light to imminent plans for ground-breaking at the site.
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