Snapshots

How lowered downtown Santa Monica parking requirements generated a wider retail district

To encourage a more walkable downtown shopping district, the City of Santa Monica has consciously been lowering parking requirements for downtown retail.

April 23, 2019
  • To encourage a more walkable downtown shopping district, the City of Santa Monica has consciously been lowering parking requirements for downtown retail. 
  • Parking requirements went from 1 spot for every 75 square feet, to 1 for every 300 SF, then 1 to every 500 SF for restaurants. Today, new Downtown Santa Monica restaurant construction does not require on site parking. Adaptive reuse requires 1 spot for every 2,500 SF. This change in parking requirements has spurred retail development by creating a more cohesive retail district. 
  • Micromobility options such as electric scooters and shared bikes have enabled pedestrians and retailers to bridge the last mile divides that often serve as a psychological barrier to venturing to further distances beyond the most obvious shopping hub. 
  • In the early 2000s, there was little retail beyond Third Street Promenade. The past decade’s efforts to create a tighter retail environment has had a tremendous spillover effect. This map uses several retail touchstones to demonstrate how the retail district has spilled over to neighboring 4th Street, 2nd Street, Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica Blvd, and Ocean Ave

    Source: JLL Research, City of Santa Monica Government

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