Rendering: Michael W. Folonis Architects

More than a year after its preliminary hearing, the Santa Monica Architectural Review Board has signed off on the design of a proposed eight-story, mixed-use building at 501 Broadway.

Prolific developer WS Communities intends to transform the northeast corner of 5th Street and Broadway in downtown Santa Monica, replacing a single-story commercial building currently tenanted by The Black Tux. 

Comprising 94 residential units and 7,260 square feet of ground-floor commercial space, the proposal for 501 Broadway will be recommended for approval when it’s ultimately presented to City Council.

Rendering: Michael W. Folonis Architects

501 Broadway will feature a three-story underground garage, housing 72 automobile and 163 bicycle parking spaces. The floorplan breakdown calls for 61 one-bedroom units, 19 two-bedroom units and 14 three-bedroom units. Nineteen on-site affordable apartments will also be included in a variety of layouts, mandated by a 2019 settlement agreement between the City and WS Communities that seeks to increase the supply of affordable housing.

The project underwent significant design changes following a preliminary review on July 1, 2019. The Board suggested that Michael W. Folonis Architects (MWFA) establish a stronger connection between the corner plaza and pedestrian realm, enliven the building’s northern facade and improve the landscape design. 

Newly-released renderings showcase these modifications, depicting a public plaza with planter benches, additional lighting, and a single support column in lieu of the two that were originally proposed. An open-air, second-floor podium deck has also been added, providing 1,368 square feet of common outdoor space.

Rendering: Michael W. Folonis Architects

Other amenities include a residential lobby with a leasing office and package delivery room, a second-floor central courtyard with planters and bench seating, and a sprawling roof deck featuring a fire pit, kitchen area, water feature and outdoor furniture. 

The white and grey stucco-clad building will be accented with smooth concrete, perforated metal, vinyl windows, and glass or square louver balcony guardrails.

If approved by the Santa Monica City Council, future residents of 501 Broadway would live steps from the Third Street Promenade, Santa Monica Pier, Palisades Park, and the countless bars, restaurants and cafes that dot the downtown area.

The project is located next door to 1437 5th Street, another planned mixed-use development by WS Communities that will feature 46 single-resident occupancy (SRO) units and 17 residential units.

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