The Los Angeles County Marina del Rey Design Control Board has given conceptual support for the proposed construction of a 114-unit retirement residence on a parcel adjacent to the Marina International Hotel, between Washington Boulevard and Admiralty Way, in the Marina.

The project applicant, Goldrich & Kest Industries, has proposed to construct a new retirement residence, including 47 two-bedroom units of 1,050 square feet and 67 one-bedroom units of 700 square feet, at a parcel that is now a 186-space parking lot adjacent to the hotel.

The Design Control Board voted 3-0 Thursday, August 18th, to support the concept of the project with conditions pertaining to architecture, parking, landscaping and lighting.

The parking lot parcel has frontage on both Admiralty Way and Washington Boulevard and is located between the county Oxford Flood Control Basin on the east and the Marina International Hotel on the west.

The proposed project also includes 5,000 square feet of retail space on Washington Boulevard and a landscaped public accessway on the eastern edge of the parcel, connecting Washington Boulevard and Admiralty Way.

The first floor of the residence project would include:

– a 3,400-square-foot lounge, an entrance lobby with spiral stairs; and

– 1,700 square feet of administrative offices and a reception area.

Second-floor uses would include:

– a 4,200-square-foot private dining room;

– a 900-square-foot library;

– a 1,000-square-foot arts and crafts room;

– a 1,500-square-foot community kitchen;

– a 1,000-square-foot lounge and

– a 200-square-foot beauty salon.

Levels two, three and four of the facility would include lounges, a chapel, a card room and parlors, in addition to the residence rooms.

With the proposed development of the retirement residence, Goldrich & Kest is required to replace all 186 public parking spaces on the parcel, according to county Department of Beaches and Harbors staff.

The applicant has proposed to accommodate 92 parking spaces on-site and move the remaining 94 spaces to a proposed area on Panay Way.

Beaches and Harbors Department staff said the parking lot site proposed for the project is far less utilized than the Panay Way lot, which is closer to Mothers Beach and does not require crossing public streets to access the beach area.

Goldrich & Kest also plans to provide 42 parking spaces for residents and guests and 20 spaces for retail customers — a total of 154 on-site parking spaces.

Peter Phinney, Design Control Board member, said the residential parking needs to be distinguished from the public parking at the site.

“We want to make very certain that the access to public parking is clearly for the public,” Phinney said. “We don’t want the public to feel like second-class users of the facility.”

The developer has proposed to provide pedestrian amenities, landscaping and maintenance at the eastern edge of the project parcel, which is currently used as a pedestrian walkway between Admiralty Way and Washington Boulevard.

The proposed improvements to the pedestrian walkway would be of “significant public benefit,” Beaches and Harbors Department staff said.

Daniel Ginzberg, a Marina businessman, said he strongly supports the proposed residence, which he said is “very aesthetically pleasing.”

“This accomplishes numerous development goals in one single project,” he said.

The retirement residence building is expected to be about 55 feet high facing Admiralty Way and 65 feet high facing Washington Boulevard, dimensions which are much lower than the maximum 140 feet allowed.

Design Control Board vice chair Katherine Spitz said a concern of the board is the proposed facility’s tall, narrow courtyard that allows for “limited access to light.”

Phinney added that since the facility is designed to accommodate the retirement population, which spends “a great deal of time inside,” the facility should allow for plenty of access to light.

Spitz also expressed concern about the style of the building design, which may appear outdated within five years.

“We’d like to see the interior court improved,” Phinney said. “It’s critically important that you develop some scheme to separate the resident parking from the public parking. You need to make it clear that there is a public parking component.”

Following completion of the entitlement process, the developer will return to the Design Control Board for review and support of design details for the proposed retirement residence.