El Segundo has long prided itself as a hub for business, while also resisting the entreaties of developers seeking to build multifamily housing within its boundaries. But signs of change have appeared on the horizon.
A notice issued on May 26 indicates that El Segundo-based real estate firm Mar Ventures, Inc. is seeking entitlements to redevelop a series of parking lots along Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) with a mixture of housing and retail space. The Pacific Coast Commons development, slated for roughly 6.3 acres of property between Holly and Palm Avenues, calls for the construction of three buildings (each designed by Withee Malcolm Architects) containing a total of 263 apartments, 11,252 square feet of retail space, and associated parking.
The first, called Pacific Coast Commons South, would replace a surface parking lot adjacent to the Aloft Hotel and W XYZ Lounge. Plans call for the construction of a six-story edifice containing 120 residential units atop 5,760 square feet of commercial space. Behind the residential building, a new parking garage would be built to serve the residential and commercial development, as well as the adjoining hotel. A total of 336 vehicle stalls would be located on five above-grade levels and three subterranean levels.
A block north at the corner of PCH and Mariposa Avenue, Mar Ventures proposes to raze the former site of Carrasco's Restaurant, a rental car business, and a conference facility attached to the Fairfield Inn hotel complex to make way for a new parking structure. The 215-car garage would stand five stories in height and front PCH with 3,270 square feet of retail uses.
The final component the project, called Pacific Coast Commons North, would replace an amorphous parking lot at the northwest corner of PCH and Mariposa. The existing parking, which serves the Fairfield Inn hotel, would be replaced with a six-story garage containing 252 vehicle stalls. The new parking structure would stand behind a six-story, 137-unit apartment complex along PCH and six for-sale townhomes located along a narrow site to the north.
The project is slated to be discussed on June 10 in a virtual scoping meeting (click here for information on how to participate).
El Segundo, which is among the least densely populated communities in Los Angeles County, has previously rejected overtures from developers wishing to build mixed-use projects within the City.
“From the city perspective right now, it doesn’t make any sense,” said then City Manager Greg Carpenter at a Bisnow event in 2018. “I don’t think we’re ready for it. Certainly the state is talking about [adding more housing]. That conversation will continue and it may not be out of the question in the future but right now it does not make sense for us financially.”
However, El Segundo has already shown signs of softening that stance. Last year, developer D.R. Horton completed the construction of 58 townhomes and single-family dwellings on land previously controlled by the City's school district.
The City has also proved hospitable to other forms of development. Multiple office campuses have risen on El Segundo's industrial east side, while new hotels have replaced parking lots lining PCH - including a proposed development next to Pacific Coast Commons.
Mar Ventures, the developer behind Pacific Coast Commons, is also part of a joint venture proposing a 240,000-square-foot office complex on Rosecrans Avenue.
- El Segundo (Urbanize LA)