What are your plans for Swarthmore Avenue?

We set out to revitalize Swarthmore Avenue, which over the years has represented the unique qualities and characteristics of Pacific Palisades. As the plans came together, we spent two years listening to your community as it is crucial this project reflect the unique characteristics of Pacific Palisades.

Our plans represent our commitment – and your feedback – to revitalize Swarthmore Avenue as a gathering place for friends and family while staying true to the look and feel of Pacific Palisades. The following are some of the key characteristics of the plan:

  • Walkable village
  • A collection of unique and boutique retailers
  • Four to five restaurants ranging from family to fine dining
  • A brand new park along Monument Street
  • Community room
  • Neighborhood movie theater
  • Buildings that fit the look and feel of the neighborhood

What will the completed project look like on Swarthmore Avenue?

We wanted to make sure the architectural style reflects a cozy, coastal village feel that fits in the existing neighborhood so all of the buildings are small one- or two- story, similar to the rest of the village. The style of buildings is small frontages with a residential, warm feel consistent with what has existed on Swarthmore Avenue and the community throughout the years.

What is the size of the project?

The project will complement the existing and surrounding Palisades Village.

The current Specific Plan, which guides development within Pacific Palisades, permits us to build 273,000 square feet. This scale was neither right for the community nor consistent with what we are planning. So, we are going to build approximately 125,000 square feet, which is consistent with the scale of what has existed along Swarthmore Avenue and the surrounding neighborhood through the years.

To view the approved site plan, click here.

Is the project approved?

Yes. After months of meeting with various groups within the city including the City’s Planning Commission, Planning Land Use Management sub-commitee and City Council, we received unamimous approval from the Los Angeles City Council to move forward with our plans in June 2016.

When will the property open?

We are currently under construction and will plan to open the property all at once in summer 2018. The hours of construction are the allowable work hours with the city of Los Angeles (M-F: 7:00am to 9:00 pm and Sat: 8:00am to 6:00pm). Please follow our Facebook page here for street closures and other details on construction. We thank you for your patience.

Will you provide enough parking for on the new retail and dining on Swarthmore?

Absolutely. We know parking is important, which is why we’ve met and are exceeding all parking code requirements from the city of Los Angeles. A total of 560 stalls in a three-level underground parking structure will be provided, which is more than almost five times the number of spaces provided on the existing surface lot today. We also will have 29 diagonal parking stalls along Swarthmore Ave.

All employees will be required to park in the three-level underground parking structure. We will monitor that no employees park on neighboring residential streets. In addition, employees will be provided with free transit passes and bike parking to further reduce parking impacts on the street.

Are you changing Swarthmore from a two-way to a one-way street?

Yes. We received community input to make Swarthmore a one-way street. In doing so, the street would have wider sidewalks and the narrower street would slow vehicular traffic making it safer for pedestrians.

Accordingly, we are planning that Swarthmore will remain two-way from Sunset to the alley entrance currently located between the gas station and City National Bank, and convert to a one-way street from the alley to Monument.

Will the Farmers Market return to Swarthmore Avenue?

Yes. Palisades residents can find the temporary market at the Pacific Palisades Recreation Center upper park from 8:00am to 1:00 pm Sundays. We look forward to welcoming the entire market back once we complete construction and open Swarthmore Avenue. For more information, please click here

What is the plan for hauling efforts?

You can read our detailed plan about specific activities on the following blog article.  

What are the impacts on traffic?

We worked closely with an independent, city-approved traffic expert using the guidelines and requirements mandated by the city of Los Angeles. The study results showed there will be no significant impact on traffic on the surrounding streets and intersections.

The study conservatively and thoroughly analyzed the traffic at 10 intersections and found that the project will not reduce the level of service at any of these intersections that would result in a significant impact. The L.A. Department of Transportation conducted a thorough review of our analysis and approved the study. If you would like to understand more about the traffic study and the city’s conclusions, it can be found in our MND [click here].

What stores and restaurants will be in Palisades Village?

In our conversations and community meetings, we clearly heard that residents would like an array of unique, curated stores and boutiques. The project also will include four to five restaurants ranging from family-oriented casual dining to more fine dining. We seek to offer a range of price points and types of food so that residents can enjoy a variety of neighborhood dining experiences without leaving Pacific Palisades. Look for tenant announcements starting fall 2016.

What happened to the existing tenants on Swarthmore Avenue?

These retailers / restaurant have been a great part of the Palisades community for many years, and we hope they will be back. We have spoken with the previous tenants to see if they will be part of the new Swarthmore Avenue once it is open. These conversations are ongoing and we sincerely hope they will come back once the street re-opens in summer 2018. What we know:

The following tenants have relocated :

  • BOCA is now located in Santa Monica (1034 Montana Ave)
  • Carly K is now located in the former Madison space on Swarthmore Ave (1017 N Swarthmore Ave)
  • City National Bank is relocating to 843 Via De La Paz later this fall
  • Michele International is now located in the former Wilshire Fireplace space on Sunset Blvd, around the corner (15335 Sunset Blvd, between Swarthmore and Via de la Paz)
  • Toy Zoo has combined locations at Party Pizzazz’s location on Sunset Blvd (15121 Sunset Blvd)

The following tenants are planning to close for business during construction:

  • Maison Giraud
  • Bentons Sports Shop – We are happy to confirm that Bentons Sports Shop will be returning to the project once it is complete
  • Lavender Blue

The following retailers on Swarthmore Avenue are still open for business and we encourage the community to support them:

  • Carly K
  • Get Dressed
  • P2 Skate Shop
  • Solis Salon

Please continue to check the Facebook page for updates.

How many alcohol licenses are you seeking?

We have been granted to right to eight alcohol licenses, three of which exist today. In addition to the restaurants, the alcohol licenses will accommodate the new market, theater and a specialty shop such as a local wine and cheese store. All establishments will abide by operational requirements that ensure a safe environment respectful of the surrounding neighborhood.

Can you describe the new Bay Theater?

We are bringing back this cherished venue with love and care. The theater will be small and scaled to the neighborhood with just five screens for a total of 300 seats. The marquee was inspired by the historic designs of the original neighborhood-scale Bay Theater. We reduced the original proposed height of the marquee by 12 feet to ensure a community feel and also to comply with height requirements in the area . The design also will ensure that no light from the marquee bleeds into the surrounding residential neighborhood at night.

Will you have a community room?

Yes, we are very excited that we are able to have a community room in our plans. We’ve heard from many representatives of local organizations that they don’t have a meeting venue and they would appreciate it if we could accommodate a group meeting location to foster community spirit. Once we are open, our property management team will be responsible for taking reservations.

What are the details of the park?

The park will be located off Swarthmore and Monument, on a portion of what is today the triangular asphalt parking lot. The park is designed for picnics and casual enjoyment, as well as community events. Mature shade trees and beautiful landscaping will provide a wonderful environment for all Palisades residents to enjoy.

What is happening with the P.R.I.D.E tiles that were previously along Swarthmore?

We are working with P.R.I.D.E. to honor and respect the previous tile donors in our new project. After reviewing the options with P.R.I.D.E., we have collectively decided to replace the ceramic tiles with bricks, and these bricks will be featured on a special low wall situated between the new park area and Monument. P.R.I.D.E. also will be selling additional bricks to raise money to further its mission to keep Palisades beautiful.

What kind of grocery store will there be?

We are pleased to announce that Vintage Grocers, a classic hometown specialty market, is confirmed to join Palisades Village.

Will the project have any green features?

Yes, many. This project will be energy and environmentally friendly. Our plans include LEED-equivalent design standards. During construction, we will recycle demolition material. Solar panels will be placed on top of the theater building. We also will establish a free neighborhood bike-sharing program along with convenient bicycle parking, electric vehicle charging stations, permeable open-space landscaping, and water-conserving features.

Why do you need to deviate from the existing Specific Plan and what exceptions to the city plan did you seek?

We asked for the absolute minimum number of exceptions and the impact is minimal—all based on community input. These exceptions only apply to this project and cannot be extended to other parts of Pacific Palisades, and we are grateful to the City Council for its unanimous approval in June 2016. The exceptions include:

  • Vesting zone change – for a portion of two parcels to allow for restaurants overlooking the park instead of unsightly parking structures or apartment buildings
  • Parcel map – to allow for efficient underground parking and beautifully designed paseos and alley
  • Specific Plan amendment to include the following:
    • Revised definition of building height to account for significant variations in grade and architectural details. However, the definition maintains the intent of the existing Specific Plan by limiting the heights of buildings to 30 feet
    • Allow for the Bay Theater marquee sign area
    • Bicycle parking to be compliant with the recently adopted Citywide Bicycle Ordinance
    • New alcohol licenses to enjoy a drink while dining or seeing a movie; make purchases of wine at the grocery and wine and cheese stores
    • Streetscape plan for a beautiful pedestrian experience

Where can I find more information on the application submitted to the city of Los Angeles?

We are grateful for the feedback we have received from the Palisades community, which has had a direct and meaningful impact on our plans [click here]. If you have any questions or additional comments regarding the project or studies, please feel free to email the project manager, Michael Gazzano, at MGazzano@CarusoAffiliated.com.

Alternatively, you can visit our Facebook page at Facebook.com/PalisadesVillageCA.

More questions?

Please contact Caruso at 310.744.2301 to speak with us directly.