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Save the Civic
On October 11, 2022, the City Council declared the Civic Auditorium “surplus land”, thus triggering California’s Surplus Land Act (SLA). The SLA requires that groups representing housing, parks or schools be allowed to bid exclusively on the property before any other offers can be entertained.
Alarmed at the possibility of our city selling-off or even demolishing the historic Civic Auditorium, residents formed Save the Civic. Our mission has always been clear: publicly owned spaces for music and the arts are rare and important cultural venues and should be restored, not liquidated, or used for other purposes.
Operating under the State’s SLA, Council rejected a plan from Community Corp (housing). Parks didn’t make an offer. The Santa Monica/Malibu Unified School District was interested in acquiring the Civic and utilizing it as a competition Gym, which would require a $250 million dollar tax payer financed bond ($450 million with interest). After intense community opposition, the School District withdrew from the SLA process.
Thus, in November 2023, the City was officially freed from the confines of the Surplus Land Act. The City Council will soon be discussing the next steps to move the Civic process forward. Interested parties who have experience developing and operating world-class concert venues will now have a once in a lifetime opportunity to restore and operate the Civic as a premier destination for music and the arts.
We’ll update you as we know more. In the meantime, this is a great moment for Santa Monica as it takes us one step closer to a fully restored world-class Civic Auditorium!
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