Bonin says housing complex planned for Marina Marketplace is ‘drastically oversized’

By Gary Walker

A 2017 conceptual rendering of Paseo Marina, as seen from Glencoe and Maxella avenues
Image by TCA Architects, courtesy of Sares-Regis

Plans to redevelop six acres of Marina Marketplace at the southwest corner of Maxella and Glencoe avenues as a 658-unit residential and retail complex have hit a snag. The three separate seven-story buildings envisioned as Paseo Marina would require a city zoning change, and last week Los Angeles City Councilman Mike Bonin announced he would not grant one for the current iteration of the proposal.

“While I would welcome additional housing at the Marina Marketplace location, at nearly 700 units the current project is drastically oversized, would significantly increase traffic congestion, and would destroy a walkable neighborhood known and appreciated for having amenities nearby. The project is proposing to eliminate the vast majority of restaurants and shops that locals rely on, forcing thousands of people to hop in their car for basic services they currently walk to,” Bonin wrote in a March 8 letter to constituents.

The project would border the Marina del Rey Pavilions to the south and the Stella Apartments to the West, replacing more than a dozen existing shops and the Barnes & Noble at Maxella and Glencoe.

Prolific residential developer the Sares-Regis Group is proposing to include 13,650 square feet of restaurant space and the same amount of retail space in the project, which would include above-ground and underground parking for 1,217 cars and 752 bicycles, according to an environmental review released by the city’s Planning Department last week. The developer would set aside 20% of Paseo Marina apartments as affordable housing for low-income households or 10% for very low-income households.

“The Sares-Regis Group is very proud of the project they are presenting, as it brings much needed housing and affordability to a large, underutilized Westside site where housing does not exist today,” Kristen Lonner of the West L.A.-based urban planning firm Burns & Bouchard, which is representing Sares-Regis, wrote in an email to The Argonaut.

“Building new housing goes a step closer to addressing the concerns that exist in the community today about traffic,” Lonner continued. “If the proposed project were within the confines of the current zoning, the site would be designed as an office park, bringing increased traffic impacts to a community that has large employers already — Cedars-Sinai and the multiple other office projects nearby, just to name a few. The proposed project can house those employees near their jobs and neighborhood-serving commercial uses, like the Pavilions.”