There is a turf war waging in Santa Monica’s downtown Promenade and it’s not between rival gang members (this time anyway!). Rather, it is between the Promenade’s business owners and the Mayor of Santa Monica.
John Alle is a property owner suing the City of Santa Monica over the maintenance of the Promenade, or lack thereof. For months, he has complained to city officials about the number of unhoused individuals using the parking garages as shelter. He owns three retail spaces along the Third Street Promenade and blames the low foot traffic to the homeless population. “I’ve asked the mayor, I’ve asked the former city manager and I’ve asked the current interim city manager to come walk, let’s solve this together, but they don’t want to. Their main goal is to tear the building down,” Alle said, more on that later.
Out of desperation, he called LA County Sheriff Alex Villanueva. The Sheriff’s Homeless Outreach and Service Team, which inspired Alle to make the call, are currently operating in Venice at the Boardwalk connecting unhoused individuals to services.
Accompanied by the group of business owners, Villanueva toured downtown and offered suggestions on actions the business owners could take to address the issues around crime, homelessness, and trash. According to John Alle, one of the suggestions made by Villanueva was to hire Sheriff’s deputies to patrol downtown, the legality of which is unclear.
Obviously, City officials were not informed of the visit in advance and were surprised to learn of his downtown tour. “From what I understand, this was at the request of a realtor who is suing our City for conditions in our downtown, particularly in our parking garages, arising during the pandemic,” said Mayor Sue Himmelrich, speaking on behalf of the City and SMPD. “The Sheriff did not tell the City he was coming. He did not invite me, as Mayor of the City, nor our City Manager or any representative of our police department, on his tour, nor did he inform us of its purpose, its observations, or its conclusions.”
Himmelrich continued, saying the City of Santa Monica is aware of the issues of homelessness in the downtown parking lots and says addressing homelessness is the City is priority. At a July 13th meeting, the council unanimously voted to demolish the parking structure to make way for an affordable housing structure.
“One of the most critical needs right now is permanent supportive housing and we are addressing this need in a number of different ways… including moving forward with a project to convert an outdated parking structure in our downtown into affordable and supportive housing.”
However, this effort is quite unpopular with Downtown stakeholders. The proposed plan to tear down the parking structure galvanized concerned shop owners as the loss of 337 parking spaces could mean far less customers visiting their businesses. John Alle even started a change.org petition to prevent the demolition, which has accumulated 3,700 signatures to date.
Do you think we’re at the point where citizens need to hire Sheriffs to patrol downtown?
DID YOU KNOW…
A Utah-based hot tub manufacturer’s 500 workers assemble around 1,850 parts to make a certain model of a hot tub. It can take up to 6 months for a customer to get a hot tub, up from a few weeks before the pandemic because parts come from 7 countries and 14 states, and travel a cumulative 887,776 miles to make just one hot tub! COVID – and serious storms – disrupted these supply chains as many parts manufacturers did not plan for increased demand, instead, cutting back production. (Journal of Business)
Private Equity – the big money – is now getting into the AFFORDABLE housing markets! AIG’s disputed stake in its building in the Bushwick section of Brooklyn is being sold to Blackstone, part of a pending $5bn deal that represents the investment group’s most politically charged incursion into the US housing market in the years after the mortgage crisis of 2008. Housing advocates worry that a private equity takeover of affordable housing could spell trouble. Some fear that housing charities will have to accede to crippling financial settlements with Wall Street investors or face being stripped of their custodianship of housing assets that provide a bulwark against rising rents. Federal and state rent controls on many of the 83,000 apartments that the firm is buying expire over the next 20 years. (Financial Times)
In your 90402 Real Estate News….
Right now there are ONLY 13 active listings North of Montana!
The average list price is $6,580,000.
All of these currently active listings have been on the market for at least 3 weeks and the average days on market is 45.
There are 13 listings in escrow.
The average DOM is the same as the active listings (45) but the average list price is lower at $4,600,000.
Since my last update ten have sold-
458 19th Street– Sold by my partner Loraine Silver for a record breaking $9,452,000! This is the highest sales price of a home on a standard sized lot in our neighborhood!
722 20th Street– Sold for $6,100,000. Originally listed at $6,498,000.
521 20th Street– Sold for $5,850,000. Originally listed at $5,698,000.
441 Marguerita Avenue– Sold for $5,805,000. Originally listed at $5,488,000.
315 15th Street– Sold for $4,900,000. Originally listed at $5,265,000.
258 21st Place– Sold for $5,500,000. Originally listed at $4,995,000.
621 15th Street– Sold for $4,700,000. Originally listed at $4,699,000.
554 14th Street– Sold for $4,498,326. Originally listed at $4,500,000.
423 Palisades Avenue– $4,914,450. Originally listed at 4,495,000.
201 25th Street– $2,396,308. Originally listed at $2,395,000.