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Palms sees massive TOC growth

About this post: On August 24, LA’s City Planning Commission gave the green light to a mixed-use development at 9341 West Venice Blvd. The project joins a party of TOC developments in the neighborhood of Palms, all waving hello to Downtown Culver City. The approval process took less than 5 minutes…

On August 24, LA’s City Planning Commission gave the green light to a mixed-use development at 9341 West Venice Blvd. The project joins a party of Transit Oriented Community (TOC) developments in Palms, all waving hello to Downtown Culver City. The approval process took less than 5 minutes, with only one public speaker named “Mr. Goat Puppet” (you read that right, a literal goat puppet), protesting the number of parking spaces 🐐.

The project is a seven-story building with 47 units above 2,000 square feet of ground-floor retail space. Five of the apartments are earmarked as very low-income units in exchange for three off-menu incentives under the Density Bonus Program:

  • Increase of FAR to 4.4:1 from 2:1
  • 5% non-residential use in lieu of 20%
  • Ground floor screening of 0 feet in lieu of 25 feet for portion of frontage for parking and loading

The applicant also received approval for six additional Waivers of Development Standards in lieu of those required by the Exposition Corridor Transit Neighborhood Plan, including:

  • A density increase in excess of 35%, allowing for 44% increase in density
  • A height increase to 79 feet
  • Zero feet setback and side yard requirements, as well as elimination of loading space and non-residential open space requirements
Rendering of 9431 W Venice Blvd.

TOC multifamily developments on the rise

ATC’s custom shape feature allows us to quantify Palm’s TOC growth, with 22 multifamily developments approved in the 1.91-square-mile neighborhood since 2018 (see image below). Approvals take an average of 250 days; a relatively quick timeline for the City of LA.

Map of Palms TOC developments approved by the City of LA in last 5 years.

Culver City has become one of the most popular neighborhoods among young professionals and families, with a lively downtown and an abundance of restaurants, coffee shops, and growing retail. On May 10, Los Angeles City Council signed off on Apple’s 4.5-acre campus straddling Culver City and Los Angeles on Venice Blvd. Apple joins other large companies betting on Culver, including Warner Brothers and Amazon Studios.

However, according to the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG), “while Culver City has been blessed with robust job growth, its housing inventory has not kept pace. From 2007 to 2017, Culver City added roughly 12,100 jobs but issued permits to fewer than 200 new housing units”.

This presents an opportunity for the “suburbs” of Culver City—Palms, West Adams, and Mar Vista—to fill the housing gaps.

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