The City Council unanimously approved Monday night a commitment letter submitted by the Jazz Bakery on Jan. 13 that will allow the non-profit organization to build a 250-seat theatre at the Paskin site at 9184 Washington Blvd., adjacent to the .
The property will be designed by Frank Gehry and alongside the 250-seat theatre, the agreement also includes a ground level lobby, a jazz museum, a black box performance area, a bakery/café with outdoor dining, rehearsal studios, community meeting rooms and a roof top deck. The project will also be LEED certified and will comply with green building requirements.
The decision was made to avoid the property reverting back to the state, following the abolition of
As per the terms of the agreement, The Jazz Bakery will ostensibly receive the site for free, through a disposition and development agreement with the City. However, the cost of building the project is estimated at $10.2 million, which will be paid in part with a $2 million grant the Jazz Bakery received from the Annenberg Foundation.
The Jazz bakery estimates it will put on around 250 shows per year and charge charge around $35 per ticket.
The commitment letter also states that the bakery will have to provide off street parking or pay in excess of $2 million dollars of in lieu parking fees to the city.
Councilmembers said they were happy to support the agreement.
“The opportunity to take the Paskin property and turn it into The Jazz Bakery is an incredible opportunity,” Councilmember Andrew Weissman said, adding that he hoped the state would allow the project to move forward.
Richard Posell - who is on the Jazz Bakery Board of Directors – stated during public comment, “We hope that [Gov.] Jerry Brown likes jazz.”
Councilmember Jeffrey Cooper said he was pleased that Frank Gehry would be designing the building. “We have a great cultural area with a pretty iconic figure,” he said, “which will bring attention to our city in a good way.”
Mayor Micheal O’Leary said he always thought the Paskin site “was the building that landed on the witch in The Wizard of Oz” and that he’d be sad to see it go. However, he said that now there was a good witch in the area.
The Jazz Bakery agreement was just one of several approved at Monday night’s emergency meeting ahead of the abolition of the Redevelopment Agency.
Mayor O’Leary acknowledged that the decisions may have come about faster than the public is used to seeing but said, “If we do nothing we risk these properties going back to the state and being out of our hands. We have vetted [each decision] as best we can. We are also residents of Culver City and we care about this city.”