The previous car dealership and collision center on Sepulveda & 8th Street operated from 2001 to 2015. They sold cars on the site, plus provided full auto maintenance and collision repair—including painting cars. Since 1954 the property has been used as an auto dealership/ collision center. When we acquired the site in November 2014 we looked at the zoning—what uses the City allows on the property—plus we reviewed the surrounding market area.
We looked at all sorts of options: another car dealer, a hotel use, an office building and other retail options. The City designates the property as “CG General Commercial District” which permits specialty grocery stores.
We then spoke with residents and the City, and went to work to identify the highest quality neighborhood serving retail use that would fit the Manhattan Beach demographic. Gelson’s Markets emerged as the clear leader. The closest Gelson’s is north of LAX in Marina del Rey.
After securing Gelson’s commitment, together we started to envision how the site could be laid out to maximize convenience and minimize impact on nearby residents.
Our first priority was to reuse the existing building that borders the back of the property. We are going to keep that building, refurbish it and reuse it for Gelson’s. That’s right, Gelson’s will be the same height and in fact, will be the same structure as the existing auto dealership building. This is a highly sustainable plan as demolition will be held to a minimum.
Our second priority was to improve the view corridor at the corner of Sepulveda Blvd. & 8th Street by removing the stand alone showroom building. This will allow a clear line of sight for drivers – making it safer.
We will transfer the square footage from the showroom building to the opposite side of the site and build a smaller building next to the existing office building on 6th Street. This building will be occupied by First Republic Bank. This location will put compatible uses next to each other and improve traffic flow on the site.
Third and most importantly, to improve traffic flow and help cut down on cars heading into the neighborhood to the west, we are closing the current driveway onto 6th Street. The primary entrance and exit will be onto Sepulveda Blvd. We will also use the existing driveway on 8th Street as that is benefited from the traffic signal at the corner.
We are conducting a traffic and parking study at the direction of the City. The project will be parked consistent with City code and other comparable retail projects. In addition, consistent with City conditions, no employee parking will be allowed on residential streets and as property owners we will also enforce these conditions with the tenants themselves. Gelson’s will strictly comply with a City-approved Parking Management Plan with restrictions protecting the neighborhood and requirements that employees park in a designated lot. Further, there will also be a professional valet service for the employee parking lot as a way to provide additional parking spaces above and beyond those required by the City.
The current plan includes an approximately 27,900 square foot grocery building. The existing auto body shop building is 30,211 square feet. The second building on the site – a neighborhood serving bank – will be approximately 6,680 square feet, replacing the larger standalone showroom building that will be demolished.
Some of the existing building will be demolished to create a loading dock and a small patio seating area will be built on the northwest side of Gelson’s, which will become a wonderful gathering area for local neighbors.
We respect our neighbors and are focused on listening and responding to all questions and comments about the project.
We have conducted a traffic and parking study at the direction of the City. In addition, consistent with City conditions, no employee parking will be allowed on residential streets and as property owners we will also enforce these conditions with the tenants themselves.
Additionally, with the new traffic flow improvements, shoppers will appreciate the convenience of parking on site. We will not have any cut-thru entrances/gates from the rear of the property along Larsson Street. This will dissuade people from parking in the neighborhood. Paragon has also committed to give the City $20,000 towards a study of potential neighborhood calming traffic measures.
We will also beautify the site in a sustainable manner with drought resistant vegetation and attractive landscaping and hedges around the borders of the property. We will use LED lighting and our roof will be a “cool roof” with skylights to allow natural light into the building. We anticipate light intensity will be reduced by 60%.
The delivery area is being placed adjacent and below the existing office building on 6th Street to shelter it from sight and noise. And, Gelson’s will end all loading dock deliveries by 6:00 p.m. each day.
The area will be landscaped and screened. In addition, there will be strict neighborhood-friendly limits on the timing of deliveries and City codes that prohibit delivery trucks on residential streets will be strictly enforced.
The Manhattan Beach City Council and the Planning Commission have each voted to approve the Gelson’s Market project. The City Council will have a final vote on the project on Tuesday, June 6th.
Residents are encouraged to contact Paragon Commercial Group with any questions. Our phone number is: (310) 807-3370.
Contractor Storage (September 1, 2015)
In the coming days, you will see some activity on site.
A City contractor has asked to use part of our site to mobilize materials for an infrastructure project along Longfellow Drive, Ronda Drive, Terraza Place, Chabela Drive and Altura Way.
Vehicles and materials will be stored between the wall in the parking lot and the former service bays at the rear of the property. The area will be fenced and access controlled. The contractor will only access to the site during hours permitted by the City.
By utilizing our site for storage and mobilization, the work will be completed faster so we were happy to accommodate this request. This activity is not related to the redevelopment of the site.
If you have questions, please call us directly at Paragon Commercial Group:(310) 807-3370.