Add the "Martin Expo Town Center" to the growing list of mixed-use developments proposed along Olympic Boulevard, the future corridor of the Expo Light Rail as it runs from Culver City to just near the beach in Santa Monica.
The Martin Automotive Group wants to rebuild its Cadillac-Saab-Pontiac-GM showrooms at Olympic Boulevard and Bundy Drive in West Los Angeles, and erect alongside them, residential units, shops, restaurants and "innovative work environments." The "town center" will connect to a future Expo station across the street for the Expo train, a public transit line that will eventually take riders from downtown Los Angeles to downtown Santa Monica.
In a YouTube video on the company's website, the Martin family—which opened its first dealership in the 1950s in Santa Monica—says it actually wants to get people out of their cars.
"The [development] offers... the ability for people to reduce the need to be in an automobile," says Dana Martin, "for people to live here, and work here without getting into a car is a great concept with the Metro line being so close."
Seven other developments—including two major mixed-use projects, Bergamot Transit Center at the former PaperMate site and the East Village at the Village Trailer Park—are planned less than one mile west in Santa Monica. Combined (not including the Martin Expo Town Center) they are forecast to generate about 24,000 new car trips daily in the area, according to estimations by nearby neighborhood councils.
Transit Village Fight Crosses City Borders
"The issue is really the office space, because that's what brings people through our neighborhoods in Brentwood and West L.A. in the morning and has them leave at night," said Lauren Cole of the Brentwood Community Council at a March press conference about Bergamot Transit Village.
Curbed Los Angeles reported Martin representatives recently shared preliminary information about the Expo Town Center development with the West LA Neighborhood Council's Planning and Land Use Management committee. The company is seeking input from the community.