10 Main Commercial Real Estate Projects in Santa Monica

October 28th, 2013 by Diane Moore

Santa Monica has been a sedate side for decades with a bare minimum number of businesses planning to open here. However, lately things seem to have changed with the commercial real estate sector in the region making a huge leap in terms of new constructions and improvement on the old ones.

10 Main Commercial Real Estate Projects in Santa Monica

10 Main Commercial Real Estate Projects in Santa Monica

Here’s a list of the top commercial real estate projects in Santa Monica which investors would like to know about:


10. Third Street Promenade

The Third Street Promenade is an affluent dining, shopping and entertainment hub in the downtown region of Santa Monica, California. It’s a premier shopping and dining district located on the Westside and pulls in huge crowds from the Greater Los Angeles region. On account of its closeness to the Pacific Ocean along with the mild climate of Los Angeles, it’s regarded as a popular tourist hub.
The place is a prominent business center and has some important commercial real estate buildings around. An enclosed shopping mall, Santa Monica Place, was designed by Frank Gehry and added to the southern end of The Promenade. Prominent architectural company, Roma Design Group took the responsibility of redesigning the Santa Monica Mall. The Third Street Promenade which was renamed was launched on 16th September, 1989 and has emerged as an important commercial destination in Santa Monica.
Some important tenants here include Anthropologie, Urban Outfitters, Armani Exchange, Mann Theatres, Quicksilver and Apple among others. In the summer of 2012, a technology startup from Santa Monica, started a service to find a solution to their inherent problem-Real Time Parking. The site informs drivers on the real time availability with respect to off-street parking. It can be accessed for free here.

9. Montana Avenue

Montana Avenue is an upscale shopping and destination hub in Santa Monica. The place has some affluent shops ranging from fashion to furniture with cafes that are interspersed, restaurants, coffee shops and much more. “A Store for Everyone” is the perfect catchphrase for this shopping destination.
The commercial real estate property is packed with retailers who are busy offering almost every kind of imaginable item-ranging from the most common goods of everyday use to world-class accessories and apparel. The place is a hot favorite among Angelenos who throng the corridors looking for bargains and trying to spot Hollywood celebrities.
Shops here offer furniture, needlepoint, crafts, rugs, interior design, folk art and knitting. There are florists, bakeries, pharmacies, stationers, opticians, huge markets, real estate and banks among others.

8. Santa Monica Place

Santa Monica Place is a high-end shopping destination located in Santa Monica, California. It’s situated at the southern end of the most famous Third Street Promenade and is two blocks away from the Santa Monica Pier and the beach. The commercial real estate building underwent a massive renovation process, starting January 2008. It was reopened on the 6th of August, 2010 as a stylish outdoor shopping hub.
The place has been a backdrop for many television shows and films, such as Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Pretty Pink and Terminator 2: Judgment Day among others. The building is spread on an area of 152,000 square feet and is spread on an area of three levels.
Santa Monica Place has various upscale outlets, such as Hugo Boss, Tiffany & Co, Michael Kors, AllSaints, Louis Vuitton, Kenneth Cole, Ted Baker and Emporio Armani among others.

7. Main Street Santa Monica

Main Street Santa Monica is a shopping destination located two blocks away from Ocean Park beach and south of the Santa Monica Pier. It has a collection of boutiques, shops, cafes and restaurants. The place is more famous for eateries than shopping even though you can window shop easily in some areas.
The place stretches for about a mile from the Santa Monica City Limit to Pico South. The street offers some exciting shopping and dining experiences and draws in huge crowds.


6. 1221 Ocean Avenue

1221 Ocean Avenue is a high rise of height 48.46 meters in Santa Monica. The commercial real estate structure has 16 floors and was renovated in 1999. The structure, which was originally known as Champagne Towers, was constructed as part of the Lawrence Welk Plaza development.
After the 1994 Northridge earthquake, the structure was closed for around five years until it was acquired by Irvine Apartment Communities in May 1998. The common areas and rooms were completely renovated in November 1999.

5. Clock Tower Building

The Clock Tower is an important office building in Santa Monica, which is situated on Santa Monica Boulevard, close to The Third Street Promenade. This region commands the highest rents in all of Southern California and is considered one of the preferred addresses for anyone wishing to set up a business in the region.
The 12-storied building is made up of white terracotta and is a spread on an area of 52, 465 square foot. According to Ophir Tanz, chief executive of GumGum Inc and also a former tenant, the place is ground zero for Santa Monica and Silicon Beach. He adds that the commercial real estate building has ocean views and many interesting features.
Tenants here pay around $ 6 per square foot every month, which is almost twice the rate for some offices in the best towers in downtown Los Angeles. Some important tenants here include information firm TrueCar Inc, post-production firm Famiglia Di Vendetta and online deal-of-the day firm LivingSocial Inc.
Sorgente Group of America Corp, controller of the famous New York-based building, Flatiron building bought the clock tower for $ 34.3 million in the early part of 2013. The commercial real estate tower underwent completion in 1929, however, it’s well-preserved, according to Veronica Mainetti, president of Sorgente Group of America.

4. Red Bull’s Office

Red Bull’s office in Santa Monica which was launched in 2012 is an amazing structure with an equally amazing transformation. This structure is an outcome of a total renovation work of an outdated brick structure which dates back to 1959 and was a former site of Avery Labels.
The project was designed by Santa Monica based HLW Int’l and constructed by Inner Space Constructors. It required removal of the roof at a particular end to develop an open-air courtyard. The project also led to the creation of a gym, a movie theater, recording studio and a secret gaming room. However, the most impressive happens to be the massive skate-able installation which runs all across the office.

3. 100 Wilshire


100 Wilshire is a tall skyscraper of height of height 91.44 meters in Santa Monica. The 21-floor high rise building also goes by the name of GTE building and Lawrence Welk Plaza, and was constructed by Lawrence Welk. The principal designer of the project was Cesar Pelli, designer of the Petrnoas Towers and former head of the Yale School of Architecture.
The commercial real estate building is visible from Parlos Verdes to Malibu on an absolutely clear day and was nicknamed “The Refrigerator” and “Blue Whale”. The property does not have a place for on-site parking. It was actually built as part of a bigger complex with the close by sixteen-story structure at 1221 Ocean Avenue. The subterranean parking garage below 1221 Ocean Avenue was meant to be shared with 100 Wilshire.


2. Miramar Project

A new tower of height 26 feet with new condos, ground floor retail and hotel rooms are the latest piece of addition for a major expansion and renovation project of the historic Fairmont Miramar Hotel in Santa Monica. The 8-page project was unveiled on February 2013 on the website of the Miramar.
The plan indicates that the commercial real estate building would spread over an area of 550,000 square feet. The present hotel is half this size. The plan transforms the shape of the proposed property to a thinner rectangle from a “L”. This building will be known as the Ocean Building and will hardly be visible from various points across the city, according to the owners of the hotel, MSD Capital L.P.
If this structure gets permission from the City Council to soar up to 21 stories, it would emerge as the second tallest structure in Santa Monica.

1. Massive Plaza to be built in Santa Monica

A team headed by Metropolitan Pacific Capital to develop a massive plaza in Santa Monica received approval from Santa Monica City Council. This plaza was designed by architect Johannes Van Tilburg and the Office of Metropolitan Architecture. The commercial real estate tower will reach 148 feet and have 12 stories spread in an area of 424,000 square feet.
The property will have a hotel of 225 rooms, shops, restaurants and a marketplace besides cultural areas for both adults and children. There will be a total of 1220 parking spots out of which 580 will be meant for the public.
The investment will touch around $ 330 with a ground lease of approximately $ 1.3 million/year, as mentioned by the Housing and Economic Development Department.


The vacancy rate of offices in Santa Monica is just 4%, which is a fraction of the county average, according to Craig Kish, real estate broker with Jones Lang LaSalle. Even though the major areas of Los Angeles County have witnessed the falling and flattening of occupancy rates, Santa Monica has been enjoying a steep recovery.
Long time residents from Santa Monica recollect growing up in a modest, sleepy and cost-effective beach town. However, it seems that nothing can now come in the way of its growth, especially in downtown. Some of the best architects from the globe are putting in their efforts to construct new shops, hotels, houses, offices and much more. The commercial real estate sector in the region is geared up and silently enjoying the fruits of its success with the beach town strongly emerging as a suitable destination for commercial investment.


Diane is a highly-qualified translator of the English, Italian and Spanish languages. She has studied extensively in Italy and Switzerland. She writes about a variety of financial services industries including insurance. She has a love of life and a curiosity that drives her both personally and professionally.

Leave a Reply