Back in July it looked like Rem Koolhaas was about to land his first large-scale commission in Los Angeles with The Plaza at Santa Monica, a mega-mixed-use complex that would have graced a city-owned parcel at Fourth and Arizona streets. City officials seemed genuinely wowed by OMA’s theatrically-terraced design and a city selection committee recommended to Santa Monica City Council that they enter formal contract negotiations with the project’s developer, Metropolitan Pacific Capital.
But last week, the city council issued a resounding, “Not so fast,” voting almost unanimously against the recommendation, citing concerns over a lack of affordable housing.
Santa Monica requires that 20 percent of units within a new development be designated as affordable. The city also mandates that at least 30 percent of all new multi-family units for any fiscal year be affordable. The council has thus sent Metropolitan and OMA back to the studio to address these concerns.
Adding insult to injury, they’ve also asked Metropolitan’s competitor, Related California—its team made up of BIG, Koning Eizenberg, and Rios Clementi Hale— to revise its proposal. So, though it’s not over for Rem just yet, it’s no longer a sure thing.
While the council is hoping to see reworked proposals in three months, no firm date has been set for the teams to present.