Wednesday, April 11, 2007

A New Development in San Pedro

This is the body of an Email I received on Tuesday April 3, 2007.

You have been sent this message from ( Email address removed) as a
courtesy of (

$110M Mixed-Use Project Wins Entitlements

Thursday, March 29, 2007
By Bob Howard

SAN PEDRO, CA-Palos Verdes Street Investments LLC plans an 18-story
high-rise residential tower and 4,000 sf of retail space.

The entire article may be viewed at

Highlights of the article include information about an 18-story condominium development proposed for downtown San Pedro at Palos Verdes Street and 5th. Street.

"The 251 residential units of the Urban Village will feature work force housing, designed to provide affordable housing for public service workers such as police, firefighters and teachers. The development will be served by both subterranean and above-grade parking accommodating 574 vehicles."

The new building will be the tallest building in San Pedro. The development is currently called,

"The Urban Village at Palos Verdes Street."

Update created April 11, 2007

Reading more and learning more about this new development, would be a good thing for all of us to do.

So far I have learned that a total of fifteen of the units proposed for the 251-unit development will be considered "work force housing" by the developer and the average space of each one of these units is approximately 609 square feet.

Here is the URL for the Mitigated Negative Declaration, which has lots of information about the project. Thank you Kris, for forwarding this address.

Now for some more basics.

The new development will actually be composed of three structures. On Palos Verdes Street, between 5th and 6th Streets and directly across Palos Verdes Street for "The Vue" there will be a "4-5 story mid-rise townhouse building", consisting of 36 units, with an average size of approximately 1,015 square feet.

The 18-story building on the northwest corner of 5th and Palos Verdes Streets will consist of 215 residential units, approximately 4,00 square feet of retail space and subterranean parking.
The 15 "work force housing" units will be in this building. The average size of the 200 market rate units will be approximately 1,099 square feet.

The third structure will be a below ground level parking facility, wit some levels of parking above ground level, and a top level of open space with grass and a park like look. The parking structure will be designed to hold up to 582 vehicles.

The parking structure/open space area will back up against the main post office in San Pedro.

The population estimate for the development is approximately 577 residents, or about 2.3 persons per unit. There will be an estimated student-age population of about 98.5 students, broken down into 52.4 elementary school students, 23.7 middle school students, and 27.4 high school-age students.

There will be approximately 1.75 bedrooms per unit or about 440 total bedrooms for the project.

I think by reading the article, versus learning some real facts about the development, we get to view what developers want us to think before we really get to learn what the realities might actually be.

Sure there will be "work force housing" at Urban Village, but less than 6% of the units would qualify for that type of housing. The size of that type of housing, being approximately 609 square feet is smaller than anything being considered for Ponte Vista.

I now feel I agree that to compare Urban Village to Ponte Vista would be unfair. It would be more fair to compare Urban Village to The Vue which will be directly across Palos Verdes Street.

Urban Village and The Vue are examples of building up. Using available space in the sky rather than using limited space on the ground to build condos and town homes.

Ponte Vista has the space to build out. There is enough land available to build a community of homes that folks may actually want to live in where they are not stacked on top of one another. Ponte Vista has many more times the acreage than developments such at The Vue, and we have an opportunity in our community to build a great development that my be the last of its kind in the area.

The 61.53 acres that make up Ponte Vista may be the last site we can offer single-family detached housing in any large numbers. I can't believe that there are not enough people in our greater area who wouldn't want to live in a brand new detached home, in a brand new neighborhood, and in a welcoming community. There would be enough space left over, I feel, that we can offer our seniors a separate area to call their own, too.


Kris said...

Some new owners at the Vue are going to be pissed! Thankfully the one I bought faces Southeast and won't be impacted.

Get ready for some (as many San Pedrans would put it) "yuppie protestors"!

M Richards said...

Howdy Kris, thanks for your comment.

You know, I never thought of what the folks buying units at the Vue might think about having to look at a "work force housing" development so close to them.

Might we find some real "ranting elitists" among buyers to units at the Vue. How many stars, if any should these folks get, on their very own "rantint elitist" buttons, or due they qualify at all for receiving a button if they favor living in a high density development.

I had heard some time ago that there would be more than three high-rise residential buildings built in San Pedro. With the Vue and this new development, does anybody out there know about the third big building?

Kris, have you views changed at all about the current Ponte Vista plans since you made you prior comments on this blog? Time has passed since then and some folks have altered their ideas and I am wondering if you have changed your views.

tom said...


I would urge you to hold of on forming an opinion on this new development. It seems to me it is apples and oranges to compare it to Ponte Vista. Just because "workforce housing" has become a catch-phrase, doesn't mean the product will be the same.

For example, does the Vue have the same type of green space as proposed to Ponte Vista? We know that the Vue will be solid glass all the way up. It stands to reason an 18-storey building will be the same. Downtown living in urban glorified apartments is much different than condo/townhome living.

Let's see what they are actually doing before we get up in arms.

It also seems pretty strange to me that this project could get all the way to entitlements without popping up on someone's radar. Have you checked with the Councilwoman's office as to the veracity of the email you received?

Lastly, that's a lot of density. Is R Neighborhoods Are 1 going to fight it as hard as they are fighting Bisno?


M Richards said...

Thanks Tom,

As you can probably see now that I have changed the post.

I agree that this is an apples and oranges thing, so I shouldn't compare Ponte Vista with The Vue or Urban Village.

I also think R Neighborhoods Are 1 probably won't get involved with The Vue and Urban Village because they are an apples and oranges thing.

Ponte Vista is different. Space out and around is more available than probably anywhere else in our community. Let's build intelligently with the extremely limited amount of land we have left. Condos and townhouses are going up like like mad, it seems.
Why can't we have one last area where we can be separated by feet and not floors? Why can't folks be allowed to purchase single-family detached houses that are brand new, in a brand new development, and in a community where they will be appreciated? Why must we submit to not having one last, best neighborhood of detached homes in our community? Why can't we be different?

Maybe it is correct to build housing like Seaport, The Vue,and Urban Village, but we should also be strong enough and wise enough to say when enough is enough, and we are going to build something different from pedestal style, multi-resident, large buildings.

Compromise. That's all I'm asking for. Tom, you want that too.

Anonymous said...

it just keeps coming. if anyone hasn't noticed yet, the same thing happened in long beach a few years ago, and parking in that city is ridiculous.

there is such a thing as critical mass, and if we haven't yet reached that point, we surely are getting pretty damn close.

Anonymous said...

Nobody gets one over on Tom Field. We don't need any opposition. Keep 'em comin'. The more we build, the better it is for our community. We need to move beyond the 20th century and embrace the positive impacts growth has on jobs and diversity.

tom said...

Anonymous 9:02pm

I only wish what you say is true. Unfortunately, it isn't. I'm embarrassed to say I have been fooled many times in my life.

But you are missing my point. I have not supported the Ponte Vista project as proposed. What I advocate is dialogue and compromise. There has to be a number that works for both sides.

Have you bothered to read my proposals? At least I took the time to think them through and write them down. Have you? I've invited counter-proposals and ideas, yet no one has responded except people like you with your sarcasm. Just tear things down without bothering to offer any suggestions of your own. How mature...

Anonymous said...

Ooooh. I get ya Tom. Compromise. It's like R1 = 500 homes, Bisno = 2300 homes and Compromise = 1400 homes. Now I see why compromise is far better than R1! I'm totally with ya Tom. Compromise...