Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Mid-Rise Development Moves On

In a relatively short meeting last night the Costa Mesa Planning Commission passed both Public Hearings before them - same project, separate actions.
The meeting began with a flag ceremony by Boy Scout Troop 316.

Chairman Jim Fitzpatrick pulled two items from the short Consent Calendar for separate discussion.  He addressed the Code Enforcement Update and, after a brief discussion, the commission agreed that this report was no longer necessary.  I thought it was an interesting decision, since it provides excellent information about progress "cleaning up" specific properties and neighborhoods.

He also pulled the discussion of Costa Mesa Connect - the Smartphone App available for use by residents and others to report a long list of problems - graffiti, potholes, etc.  An excellent introduction video produced by Brad Long of Costa Mesa Television was played for the audience.  It is presumed that in the future the Development Services Department will present regular, comprehensive reports about the effectiveness of this tool and the results achieved.  The first such report will be presented in November.

The first Public Hearing, HERE, was simply a two-year extension of a development plan for 585 and 595 Anton Blvd. plus a nearby parking structure.  The commission, minus Vice Chair Rob Dickson who left because his employer has a conflict, voted, 4-0, to approve the extension.
The second Public Hearing, HERE, is about the same site.  However, the property owners wish to modify the previously approved development.  The shorthand version of their plan is to reduce the scale of the approved project from two high-rise towers - 26 and 16 stories - to two mid-rise buildings of six stories each.  These new units would be rental facilities, not the condominium units anticipated in the earlier approved project from eight years ago - before the bottom fell out of the economy.

This project made me smile.  It's clean in almost every way.  The developer, landowner George Sakioka and his team, provided more parking than is required and more carefully-crafted open space than is required.  Even though there are many who feel this city doesn't need any more rental units, these units will be upscale and seem to be the right kind of units in that location.  We were told they will likely rent for somewhere in the $2.75 - $3.00 per square foot range.  That could mean around $3,000 per month for some of the units.

The commission voted, 4-0, to move this project on to the City Council meeting of November 18th - a busy night, since it will be the only council meeting next month and the last one before a new council is seated following the election.

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Blogger Gericault said...

Heard one of our Developers on the Dias recently complaining about the slow Westside sales of these hyper density three story boxes. Seems he was blaming the slow sales on the low scores of the Westside schools. The little Westside house next door to me just sold in 15 days, with multiple offers. Same schools. Different housing product. It w as a 600k fixer upper with a nice yard on a quiet street.

10/14/2014 07:35:00 AM  
Blogger Joe said...

Did Fitzy repeat any of his complaints about lack of civility and comments from a "local blog" as mentioned in his DP piece? Or did he simply admit to being a "bootlicker," "brown-noser," and "sycophant" as listed?

What a sad waste of humanity. All that education and training to produce a moronic blob who betrays an entire city to worship at the feet of a two bit Napoleon wannabe.

10/14/2014 08:24:00 AM  
Anonymous Terry Koken said...

Two-bit!?! I'll have you know that he's worth at least thirty-three cents! And stop saying such nasty things about Napoleon, sir. You do him injustice: he was a fine person in comparison with the man to whom you refer.

10/14/2014 11:03:00 AM  
Anonymous seedling said...


I'm sure both schools and density are the problem. You cant have both high density AND lackluster schools. I'm sure those new developments are priced at a premium being that they are new-- but we dont have the economy to match yet.
Many buyers do care a lot about schools-- even if its just for the prospects of resale value. Many buyers want to be able to have a yard for children and their pets to romp in. Crowded and bad schools? Nope. Many buyers im sure, even if unconsciously, also care about a sense community-- i dont see how you can have the sense of community when you live in a 20 unit development that has no continuity with its surroundings.

What we are developing is the worst of both worlds! Their claims to be improving the city are beyond bizarre to me. No amount of ball fields they put in and freshly paved roads can make up for the systemic problem they are creating!

Its refreshing to hear of at least one development going in amply parked with open space-- and i'm pretty sure theyll probably be able to charge a higher rent for a better quality of life.

10/14/2014 11:52:00 AM  
Anonymous Robin Leffler said...

From what I've seen of George Sakioka, he is a class act. Very refreshing!

10/14/2014 12:55:00 PM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

Indeed. Could have gone ahead with 26 and 16 story condo towers. Reduced his footprint significantly, provided more open space and parking than is required and probably will have folks climbing all over themselves to rent those places once complete. He's not some fly-by-night guy who slides into town, buys up a lot or two, develops them to the max, then moves on like a locust. Nope, George is a man of the soil, who actually cares about the footprint he leaves behind. We need more of him in our city.

10/14/2014 01:08:00 PM  
Anonymous Casual Viewer said...

George's family has roots in the area that go back a few generations. He is not a developer who appears from out of the blue to make a few bucks and then make a hasty exit.

10/14/2014 01:38:00 PM  
Anonymous Muffin Top Bob said...

I wonder what Mr. Sakioka thinks about the City Councils plan to close the Fire Station located right around the corner from this future development? You know, the Fire Station that is located on the street named after his family!!!

10/14/2014 07:21:00 PM  
Anonymous Where's My Coffee? said...

That developer has his head in the ...uh...sand. I don't understand. Mensinger said they were selling like hotcakes.

The thought of having children in those cracker boxes is repulsive. Unless you take them out to walk them like dogs, they will never see daylight. No room for bicycles, or a plastic pool. What a horrible childhood. The worry about schools I think, is disingenuous. I tend to think it has more to do with the $750,000 price tag with nothing much to show for it, rather than the schools.

10/14/2014 08:10:00 PM  
Blogger zennymoon said...

George Sakiota may be a genuine nice man, but this project is going to add 92,000 trips a day...that's a quality of life, changer...forget fairview. traffic cut through Baker, Adams, etc....

10/14/2014 11:54:00 PM  
Anonymous Robin Leffler said...

That's the Sakioka project at previous density, plus the outrageous new plans for the Segerstrom beanfield near Ikea plus the Industrial park toward SoCo. They are asking for the moon and it would be nuts to give it to them.

10/15/2014 03:40:00 AM  
Blogger zz said...

Have you been in one of the models at the end of W. 18th Street? The house is so tall and narrow that the stairs are almost as steep as a ship's ladder. It wouldn't even be safe for a young child or an older person.

Maybe the demographic they're aiming at is the surfer dude whose Newport Beach parents give him a generous allowance so he can have his parties in his own place instead of messing up theirs.

10/15/2014 08:38:00 AM  
Anonymous Atlas Shrunk said...

There is nothing, other than desire to maximize profit, the precludes redeveloping the light industrial properties on the west side of CM with single family homes on fee lots of a decent size. Say 8000 square feet per lot or 5 units per acre. Even true R2 (two units on an old fee-sized lot). There is no reason why the west side cannot be developed to look similar to the east side or to Cliff Haven or Newport Heights. All it takes is planning and a desire to do it. Yet, no one proposes such things.
Don't tell me that it is the cost of the property. Such real houses would sell for enough to pay the cost of property acquisition, easily.
Similarly, there is nothing that requires the units to be 3 stories above the surrounding streets. Many developments in CM were done with sunken parking and two stories above surrounding streets.
What ever happened to the old concept of setback equals building height?

10/15/2014 12:54:00 PM  

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