A long-awaited mixed-use renovation and expansion plan led by international architecture firm Gensler and developer Forest City for the aging South Gate Galleria complex in Redondo Beach, California was finally revealed late last week.
The plan calls for adding 300 housing units and a 150-bed hotel over an existing mall parking lot, demolishing several existing shopping structures, and redesigning retail areas with a new focus on open-air dining and pedestrian accessibility.
A rendering released for the project depicts a grand lawn surrounded by open air dining spaces while elevations for the project showcase a mix of building forms, including a traditional apartment block, a balconied hotel, and re-skinned existing mall structures. The project site plan features generous planted open spaces at the site’s northeast corner, where a series of swales and trails wind from the busy intersection of Artesia Boulevard and Hawthorne Boulevard toward the proposed hotel.
Regarding the project, Forest City president Ratner told The Daily Breeze, “we want to enable people to use public transportation, walk or bike to shopping and dining destinations and use their cars a lot less than they do today.” Ratner added, “the proposed development will pay significant attention to better pedestrian and bicycle access and will promote easy transitions between a variety of transportation options.”
The 29.85-acre site was identified in the City of Redondo Beach 2013-2021 General Plan Housing Element as the site with the “greatest potential for future residential development” in the city and as “an ideal location for transit-oriented development involving high-density residential uses” due to its proximity to a new stop along a forthcoming expansion of the regional Green Line light rail line that runs through the area. Despite that vaulted status, the project density has gradually fallen over time. Originally, the project was proposed with 480 residential units, a number that had to be scaled back after community opposition arose against the added residential density. The site itself is zoned for up to 650 units, according to a Draft Environmental Impact Report.
The project is currently open for public comment as it makes its way through the environmental review process.