Santa Monica has always been a lively and interesting part of Los Angeles, but in recent years it has undergone a resurgence in vitality as a neighborhood, allowing it to establish a strong identity as a city in its own right. To illustrate this point, I recently toured a new park and commercial/residential development in Santa Monica that has made the area even cooler and more livable than it was already.
Tongva Park, named after the Native American tribe indigenous to the area, is the culmination of a multimillion-dollar project designed to – in the words of its planners – “epitomize best practices in city planning, development and urban design by balancing and incorporating public open space, affordable housing, market re-housing and commercial retail space.” The park itself is a beautiful space, with beautiful ocean views, unique structures and landscape gradation. It offers great access from Fourth Street to Ocean Avenue, and it has already established itself as a great spot for walking, roller-skating or just people watching.
The park is located next to the Village, which offers two high-end condo complexes and one complex of affordable housing and artist lofts. Our tour allowed us a glimpse of the penthouse condos, which will run between $2 and $8 million and offer breathtaking ocean views as well as central location in this bustling urban hub.
It was an exciting opportunity to see this “Gateway to the City” come to fruition, as Santa Monica continues to lead L.A.’s movement toward increased urban renewal and landscape development.