New Train Station, Esplanade and Two Hotels Coming to Downtown Santa Monica
Santa Monica is creating a new pedestrian and bicycling Esplanade in a two-block area along Colorado, from the new Downtown Santa Monica Expo light rail station on 4th Street, all the way to Ocean Avenue in front of the Santa Monica Pier. To learn more about this new amenity, Bisnow caught up with Santa Monica public works director Martin Pastucha yesterday; he tells us the extension will provide cyclists and pedestrians easy access to the Santa Monica Place, Ocean Avenue, Palisades Park and the Pier.
The Colorado Esplanade, now under construction, expands the pedestrian sidewalk and adds a bike path that combined are 44 feet wide.
Located between 4th and 5th streets, the western terminus of Metro’s Exposition Line, the Downtown Santa Monica Station is opening next spring about the same time as the Esplanade and two new hotels.
We also caught up with Santa Monica planning and community development director David Martin, who tells us both hotels are at 5th and Colorado—across the street from each other—and being developed by locally based OTO Development. One is a six-story, 143-room Hampton Inn & Suites (pictured below) and the other a six-story, 136-room Courtyard Marriott.
David says the city thinks hotels are a good use for sites next to the light rail station. “It provides a more affordable lodging option for visitors than is found on Ocean Ave, and that is something the city has encouraged." The developer’s website notes these are the first “select-service” hotels to be built in Santa Monica in more than 20 years.
The Courtyard (pictured) features a lobby lounge area, exercise and meeting rooms, a full-service restaurant and bar, and a rooftop deck with a pool and spa. The Hampton Inn & Suites also features a lobby lounge, pool and spa, and exercise and meeting rooms. A limited-service restaurant is also planned that may provide alcoholic beverages.
In addition, Martin says Main Street is being realigned to provide a contiguous connection with 2nd Street, so motorists will not longer need to make a left, then sharp right to enter 2nd. This also will eliminate one of the traffic lights. He notes these projects are part of ongoing infrastructure improvements in the area, which included replacing the 330-stall parking garage along 2nd Street, between Broadway and Santa Monica boulevards, with a new, 740-stall garage (pictured) that opened in 2013.