Frequently Asked Questions

How will you preserve the history of the Miramar?

The historic Moreton Bay Fig Tree will be the iconic focal point of both the project’s architecture and landscape design, celebrating and embracing the tree and providing improved public access to and enjoyment of the tree.

The project includes a detailed tree protection plan to ensure the health and vitality of the tree before, during and after the construction of the proposed project.

The Palisades Building will be rehabilitated with design inspiration taken from historic images from the 1940s-1950s. The new design visually connects the landmark building to the historic Moreton Bay Fig Tree through a new two-story glass hotel lobby. Hotel guests will celebrate the rehabilitated Palisades Building with an outdoor terrace directly off the lobby entry, while the new Palisades Gardens restores the prominence of the historic entry to the Palisades Building.

Will the public have access to the gardens and the Moreton Bay Fig Tree?

The new Miramar will create an engaging new publicly-accessible garden, the Public Garden Terraces at the intersection of Wilshire Boulevard and Ocean Avenue, featuring a prominent piece of public art and activated by adjacent food and beverage outlets. The approximately 14,000 sf garden would be open to the public at all times, subject to rules and regulations to be established.

Just beyond and slightly elevated from the Public Garden Terraces will be the Miramar Gardens, celebrating and featuring the Moreton Bay Fig Tree. The tree will be surrounded by a wood deck to protect its roots and offer seating for the adjacent food and beverage and meeting spaces.

How tall is the new Miramar?

The existing 10-story Ocean Tower and the 12-story elevator tower will be replaced with the new 10-story Ocean Building.


The height of the Ocean Building will conform to the DCP maximum height limit of 130’ and will step down as it heads east towards Second Street. Only 14% of the structures on the site are at the DCP’s maximum height limit, while approximately 70% are below 84’. The average height on the site is 48’-8”.

Will this new plan increase traffic?

The revised parking and circulation plan will facilitate the traffic flow and circulation on the immediate streets and intersections around the Miramar by providing adequate on-site parking for all residents, guests and visitors. This will eliminate well over a hundred daily valet trips to offsite parking locations and free up many parking spaces on neighborhood streets.

How much revenue will the new Miramar generate for Santa Monica?

A preliminary fiscal impact study by CBRE (the largest commercial real estate services and investment firm in the world) suggests that at stabilization, the new Miramar will provide over $16 million per year in direct City tax revenue ($7.5 million net new) and approximately $408 million in direct City tax revenue over the first 20 years of operations ($187 million net new).

What’s going to happen to The Bungalow and Fig Restaurant?

The Bungalow and Fig Restaurant will both be reimagined in new second floor locations with expansive outdoor decks featuring stunning views of Palisades Park and the Santa Monica Bay.

Why do you need to include residences?

By providing market-rate condominiums, the Miramar will contribute to achieving the DCP policy to “encourage the development of housing ownership opportunities to complement the rental housing stock…”

The Miramar has already received dozens of inquiries from Santa Monica residents looking to sell their current homes and move into a full-service condominium building.

In addition to the new market-rate condominiums, the Miramar proposes to build a 100% affordable apartment building on Second Street, directly across the street from the Miramar. This 100% affordable housing building will includes units totaling not less than 50% of the number of market rate condominiums, well above the City’s new 30% requirement in the DCP.

The Miramar is in preliminary discussions with Community Corporation of Santa Monica to partner on this affordable housing project and Community Corporation of Santa Monica is working on the optimal program and unit mix for the affordable apartments on Second Street.

Will the Miramar be environmentally sustainable?

The new Miramar will pursue aggressive sustainability goals in line with the City’s sustainability priorities on water usage, energy and LEED ratings. The new Miramar will replace existing infrastructure with modern efficient systems designed to significantly reduce water usage (preliminary estimates at more than 33% savings when compared to the existing hotel) and utilize less energy than the existing hotel (preliminary estimates at 29% savings). The project will include “green building” design features and will incorporate recycling into all new construction and operations, and will pursue a LEED-certified Platinum designation.

Does the proposed project comply with the City of Santa Monica’s LUCE and Downtown Community Plan?

The Miramar Santa Monica will be a dynamic mixed-use redevelopment that will be of exceptional planning and design, consistent with the policies and objectives set forth in the LUCE. The project will include significant new open space, an engaging new publicly-accessible garden with a prominent piece of public art, wide sidewalks, new and inviting pedestrian access, historic preservation, sustainable building design, access to mass transit, new hotel rooms, new food and beverage offerings available to the public, ground floor retail space and new market rate and affordable residences all consistent with the LUCE.

The Miramar Santa Monica and its design team have followed and participated extensively in the DCP process. The proposed redevelopment plan is consistent with the standards, direction and guidance in the City’s DCP, including maximum building height at 130’, more than 50% ground floor open space, retail frontage with expanded sidewalks to encourage pedestrian activity and a 2.6 FAR – significantly less than the 3.0 FAR limit for the site.

Who is the local team working on the Miramar Santa Monica?

The local team for The Miramar Santa Monica is led by Ellis O’Connor of MSD Hospitality and Dustin Peterson of The Athens Group. Both Ellis and Dustin have been working and involved in the Santa Monica community for the last eight years.

Ellis O’Connor is the co-founder and co-head of MSD Hospitality, the hospitality asset management arm of MSD Capital L.P.’s Real Estate Group. Ellis, who recently completed a term as Chairman of the Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce, has spent almost thirty years in the hospitality industry, and was formerly General Manager of the Fairmont Miramar Hotel in Santa Monica.

Dustin Peterson is a Principal and Vice President with The Athens Group. Dustin has been actively involved in managing and overseeing the entitlement, design, construction and development of the following four major mixed-use luxury resort and hotel development projects: The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay, California; The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch, Colorado, the Montage Resort & Spa, Laguna Beach, California and the Montage Beverly Hills.

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