The City of Santa Monica is exploring the development of affordable housing at two city-owned properties in its Downtown area.

Last week, the Santa Monica City Council voted to issue a request for proposals for the development of up to 150 units of housing and ground-floor retail at the site of a parking garage at 1318 4th Street, with a preference for an entity seeking to build permanent supportive housing.  

The Santa Monica Daily Press reports that the demolition of the garage and subsequent soil remediation will cost between $3 million to $4 million, and a city contribution to affordable housing at the site would range between $5 million and $12 million.  Despite these price tags, housing at 1318 4th Street would save the city between $13.6 million and $32.7 million in land acquisition costs, relative to other properties in the Downtown area.

The parking garage was previously slated to make way for the construction of an Arclight movie theater, although plans for the 2,700-seat multiplex fizzled in 2017.

Additionally, the Santa Monica Housing Commission recommended earlier this year that the City Council consider the development of affordable housing at 612 Colorado Avenue, a parking lot adjacent to a Big Blue Bus storage and maintenance facility.  

The motion suggests either a dual use of the site, with both housing and transit vehicle storage, or the relocation of the bus facility to other city-owned properties.

It was also suggested that 612 Colorado could be used as a replacement facility for the transitional homeless shelter Samoshel.  A drop-in center for homeless persons was previously housed at the property.