The developer of the proposed Ocean Walk redevelopment project at the Villa Marina Marketplace, adjacent to Lincoln Boulevard in the Marina area, has proposed a reduction in the amount of planned residential units and a relocation of access to the site.

The changes in the project proposal have been supported by a committee of the Del Rey Neighborhood Council.

The Olson Company, project developer, is planning to redevelop a portion of the shopping center on the present sites of Carl’s Jr., Kinko’s, Chan Darette restaurant and Marie Callender’s restaurant.

The developer appeared before the Del Rey Neighborhood Council Planning and Land Use Committee Thursday, February 24th, to propose the latest changes to the project.

The original proposal for the project called for the construction of 310 residential units and 9,000 square feet of retail space at 13480 and 13490 Maxella Ave., and 4350, 4356 and 4358 Lincoln Blvd., in the Marina area.

“We recognize the impact that new housing would have on the people currently living in the area, the shopping center and, most notably, traffic,” said Ben Besley, director of development for The Olson Company.

The Olson Company has proposed to reduce the number of residential units at the site by 22 percent to 244 units — which Besley said “greatly increases the efficiency of construction.”

The Del Rey Neighborhood Council Land Use Committee — which was strongly opposed to the proposed 310 units at the site — voted Thursday, February 24th, to support the developer’s proposed reduction.

The full Del Rey Neighborhood Council is expected to consider the committee’s support of the project reduction when the full Neighborhood Council meets Thursday, March 10th.

The committee also supported the developer’s proposed change of access to the development — moving the access further east on Maxella Avenue.

Mark Redick, committee chairman, said the original access opposite Del Rey and Maxella Avenues would have created a major impact on traffic.

The access would now be relocated near the Good Guys/Tower Records building on Maxella Avenue.

The proposed changes to the redevelopment project will create a “win-win” situation for both the Del Rey community and the Olson Company, Redick said.

“Olson can develop properly with resistance lessened,” he said. “For the community it’s a win because that area inside the shopping center needs something.”

Once the redevelopment is completed at the Villa Marina Marketplace, it will improve the aesthetics of the area, as well as the local tax base, Redick said.

Besley said the developer’s changes to the project were “something we had our eye on for a while,” but the company had to seek the approval of MeriStar, owner of the Courtyard by Marriott Hotel on Maxella Avenue.

The shifting of the access allowed the developer to reduce the number of residential units, he said.

The Land Use Committee had also opposed the maximum height of 70 feet at the development, but Besley said the developer proposes to limit the height to 55 feet on the side facing Lincoln Boulevard and 67 feet on the Maxella Avenue side.

Besley said the committee was active in expressing the concerns of the Del Rey community about the project, which would also have an effect on the future residents of the proposed Ocean Walk redevelopment.

“The concerns that they have today, our homeowners would inherit tomorrow,” Besley said.

The Olson Company hopes to begin construction of the redevelopment project by the end of the year, he said.

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