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Santa Monica Housing and Economic Development
Santa Monica Economica Development

Economic Development Division

Arts Center @ 26th St. / Bergamot Expo Line Station

Arts Center Revitalization

The City of Santa Monica has appointed the Worthe Real Estate Group (Worthe Team) to revitalize the City-owned portion of the Arts Center formerly known as Bergamot Station. The Worthe Team was selected by the City Council on September 9, 2014 through a competitive Request for Proposals process. On February 10, 2015, Council authorized the creation of a Bergamot Advisory Committee, an 11-member group who met for one year (April 2015-April 2016) with the Worthe Team and City staff to refine the conceptual plan for the site and to make recommendations regarding the revitalization strategy. On June 13, 2017, Council approved the preliminary plan for the revitalization of Arts Center that includes additional building space for art galleries, cultural nonprofits, an art museum as well as a community center, a restaurant and boutique as well as a hotel. The Worthe Team is currently managing the Arts Center under an interim ground lease and is closely working with the existing SM Arts Commission to continue to activate the Arts Center. Press Release>

On January 1, 2018, the City entered into an interim ground lease with the Worthe Team with emphasis on retaining the Arts Center tenants at existing, affordable rent levels in order to ensure stability while future revitalization plans are developed and approved through the City's planning entitlement process.  The Worthe Team is also working closely with the Santa Monica Arts Commission to develop and implement an arts center management plan.  For more information on the Bergamot Advisory Committee's recommendations and community meetings, click here.

Next steps:  The Worthe Team will be submitting a development agreement application to commence the land use entitlement efforts and working with the gallery tenants on establishing a marketing and arts center management plan. Please revisit the website for project updates and info on opportunities for public review and comment on the revitalization efforts.


Frequently Asked Questions

About the Arts Center

This important City-owned property is located at 2525 Michigan Avenue and consists of 5 acres, including five buildings totaling approximately 62,000 square feet. There is an additional, approximately two‑acre portion of the Arts Center that is privately owned.  The City-owned portion of the Arts Center is currently occupied by approximately 27 small, creative business tenants, including art galleries, architects, a non-profit theater company, and a café. 

In 1989, the City purchased the City‑owned property with transit funds with the goal of serving future transit needs in Santa Monica and providing a source of revenue for the Big Blue Bus. The Exposition ("Expo") light rail line opened in May 2016, with a stop immediately adjacent to the Site, at the corner of Olympic and 26th Street.  It serves approximately 3,000 riders per day  and is already adding new activity to the Arts Center and the area.  These changes, coupled with the desire to protect and enhance the area's arts and creative uses, informed the development of the Arts Center Request for Proposals (RFP) criteria for the City-owned property and the development of the broader Bergamot Area Plan.


For questions related to this project, please contact the City of Santa Monica Economic Development Division at, or (310) 458-8906.

Useful Links

Policy/Governing Documents

Council/Staff Report

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