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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 moved quickly to authorize the City Manager to invite interested parties who have experience developing and operating world-class concert venues to submit their proposals for restoring and operating the Civic. 


On Jan 5, the City formalized that process with an announcement calling for experienced entertainment and operating entities to submit letters of intent by January 31. As a part of that process community engagement plans must also be submitted.


We’ll update you as we know more. In the meantime, we commend the City Council and City Manager for moving forward in a timely manner, and thank everyone in the community who came together to save the Civic and restore it as a first-rate concert and performing arts center. Your voices are being heard!

Thanks for your interest!

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