Sunflower Avenue, Avenue of the Arts and the San Diego Freeway. It also
includes a new symphony hall, expansion of South Coast Repertory Theater,
an art museum or academy, restaurants, an improved parking area and
The proposal includes a new 186-room hotel at Anton Boulevard and
Bristol Street where Scott's Seafood Bar and Grill is located, but the
restaurant has a long-term lease and will not be displaced, said Paul
Freeman, a South Coast Plaza spokesman.
Residents who spoke at the public hearing during Monday's council
meeting offered a variety of suggestions and opinions.
John Feeney, a Costa Mesa resident, said he thinks the city is wasting
time and money by considering the project, which he sees as a
"playground" for the rich, when it should be addressing the needs of the
Another resident, Douglas Toohey, said the plan looks good, but it
should include public transportation, such as a tram, to accommodate
"Who's going to hike from South Coast Plaza to the Noguchi gardens and
then to their hotel or car?" he asked. "I think this is a conceptual
problem that hasn't been addressed. Now we're talking about making it
even bigger. The carrot's out and I think it's going to go uneaten. The
[Bridge of Gardens] helps, but even taking that, my wife and I are
hobbling back to the car."
South Coast Plaza's request mainly consists of a glass office building
on the corner of Sunflower Avenue and Bristol Street, Freeman said. The
project, if approved by the council, would break ground during the next
The Commonwealth Partners' part of the project is bordered by Bristol
Street, Anton Boulevard, Avenue of the Arts and the San Diego Freeway.
The Isamu Noguchi California Scenario garden is the heart of the
development, said Ken Kay, a consultant for Commonwealth Partners. He
added that everything else -- including an office building with a glass
design that will expose the sculpture garden from Anton Boulevard and
Town Center Drive -- is being built around it.
The garden, along special paving, furniture and other artwork, will
help provide a sense of cohesiveness to the project, he said. The
sculpture garden is a part of a development agreement, which includes a
land-use restriction that protects the garden as public open space for 25
"We feel like we're doing the right thing and have come up with a
truly modern urban design," Kay said.
The council is scheduled to hold its next public hearing on the
project Jan. 15.