Are Things Settled With The South Bay Galleria?

The owners of the South Bay Galleria submitted plans this week to revamp the ailing shopping center that include 50,000 square feet of office space in addition to the smaller 300-unit apartment building.

The application for approval with the city of Redondo Beach comes just over two weeks after the public comment period ended on the Draft Environmental Impact Report. In that document, prepared by consultants for the city, four options were analyzed.

In selecting option four, officials with Forest City said they were responding to concerns from residents about the lack of office space in the South Bay that caused commutes outside the area.

But, the office space in the developer’s plans comes in lieu of retail space. It does not replace the residential component, which Forest City argues is essential to attracting top quality tenants.

“We certainly want to be responsive to the needs of the community,” said Kevin Ratner, President of Forest City West, in a statement. “And our proposed plan provides scope for potential complementary uses that we believe will enhance the viability and appeal of the center.”

The proposed project includes revamping the existing mall and adding roughly 330,000 square feet of new uses, including retail space, an open-air dining area, a 300-unit apartment building, a 150-room hotel and 50,000 square feet of office space on the southwest corner of the 30-acre site.

After holding community workshops last year, the company put the brakes on its planning process in October to redesign the project to accommodate the concerns from nearby residents, said spokesperson Geoff Maleman.

Those changes, reflective in the fourth alternative, led to scaling down the six-story residential apartment building from 650 units to 300 units and relocating it to Hawthorne Boulevard. Other additions included reducing the height of a parking structure on Kingsdale and new family-friendly public gathering places.

According to the Draft EIR the fourth option creates an additional 6,752 daily car trips—255 during morning peak hours and 411 during afternoon peak hours—over existing estimated usage of 24,595 trips daily. The project would still create “unavoidable and significant impacts” to three nearby intersections, the report stated.

Construction would begin in 2020 and take an estimated three and a half years.

Source: The Beach Reporter

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