The Laguna Beach Company and Laguna Creative Ventures present the Museum Hotel for a concept review hearing with the intention of creating a new hotel on the ocean side of North Coast Highway between Cliff Drive and Jasmine Street. The Museum Hotel would replace existing uses in this block with an arts-focused, boutique hotel designed to be a place where locals and visitors can gather, relax, feel inspired, and experience the vibrant creativity of Laguna Beach’s unique community, not to mention its natural beauty. Located across from Laguna’s Gallery Row, and the Laguna Museum of Art, the Museum Hotel will build on the heritage of Laguna Beach as an art colony by providing a destination that includes public exhibition space and a community-friendly program to host curated, rotating, museum-quality exhibitions and special events featuring local artisans.
Currently submitted as a 116 room hotel, as an alternative, a number or rooms could be combined into larger suites in order to comply with the maximum allowable room count of 74. The main body of the hotel is in three levels above ground over underground parking. This design complies with all front, side and rear setbacks, building height and the “additional building setback” requirement through a combination of varied undulations of the building’s facade along Pacific Coast Highway. The hotel’s exterior is designed to appear as multiple buildings with undulating heights and step-backs. For further interest, the exterior walls will be varied to include “green walls” with live plants and other tasteful surface materials that will enhance the pedestrian experience, reduce the appearance of scale, and integrate the Museum Hotel into the neighborhood. Included in the proposed design is a restaurant and lounge, a cafe, a bistro, distinctive retail shops, and a rooftop pool and garden.
Addressing the need for open space in the overall design, there will be a combination of balcony spaces, ground level open space, and the rooftop pool deck and garden. As submitted, Laguna Beach Company’s intent is to supplement the lack of ground to sky open space by providing a large indoor gallery space. As this approach was later determined to require a variance, a reconfiguration of the open space is being considered in order to be in compliance with all open space requirements. While the design, as submitted, does not comply with the C-1 zone’s “ground-to-sky” open space requirements, the plans do comply with the overall amount of open space required.
The main vehicular guest entry and hotel drop-off is located off of Coast Highway at Cliff Drive, across from the Laguna Museum of Art. Laguna Beach Company proudly believes that the Cliff Drive “down-coast” end of the Project will further connect the downtown Laguna Beach foot traffic to North Coast Highway businesses, supporting the North Laguna arts district. Additionally, a proposed “pass-through/walkway” through the Museum Hotel would add an “up-coast” pedestrian connection to Heisler Park from Coast Highway.
All proposed uses on the site are permitted in the C-1 zone and ultimately all plans will be in compliance CEQA requirements. The Museum Hotel will bring together local residents and visitors to feed and support the creative ecosystem in Laguna Beach. Because the architectural design and proposed materials shown for the hotel’s facade are preliminary in nature, the Laguna Beach Company is soliciting feedback from the Planning Commission on issues more related to the proposed size, mass and scale of the structure and its impact on views as represented by the story poles installed at the site.
When approaching the Museum Hotel, visitors are greeted through an open and inviting entryway that immediately puts you in a Laguna state of mind. The welcoming, free-flowing openness for pedestrian traffic seamlessly blends the Museum Hotel with the rest of the authentic Laguna Beach experience.
With an open and connected view of the Laguna Beach Art Museum, the lobby and lounge area of the Museum Hotel captures the essence of a world-class museum. A social gathering hub for residents and visitors to enjoy, the Gallery makes its own impression on Laguna’s artistic heritage with a diverse range of exhibits, local and global artists, music, and events.
The Museum Hotel will be the only hotel in Laguna Beach that truly and authentically blends into the Laguna Beach lifestyle. With an open-air patio and eclectic spaces intermixed with locally-inspired cafes and retail experiences, the Avenue area of the project is an experience designed for locals and visitors to access equally. The open-air environment sits directly across from Gallery Row, complementing it with an open invitation to all who pass to slow down and enjoy some of the Laguna Beach lifestyle.
The Theatre is the event room at The Museum Hotel, and is uniquely designed to open up to the street, creating a unique relationship between visitors to the Theatre, and the energy and vitality of the Laguna Beach community. The Theatre is a premier location for special occasions and events, including artists’ exhibitions, pop-up shops, performances, and celebrations of almost any kind for all.
Access to the beaches and parks of Laguna is a vital part of our coastal soul. The Paseo is designed to provide a fluid passageway from Coast Highway to coastal cliffs quickly and easily. An open-air breezeway, lined with locally-inspired cafes and shops, leads pedestrians out to Heisler park, and beyond to some of the city’s most beautiful coves and beaches.
From the canyon to the cliffs to the coves, Laguna Beach is surrounded by natural beauty. It stands to reason that we have always had a heritage of passionately preserving and protecting our environment. The Museum Hotel’s sophisticated and ecologically-advanced service features are designed to carry that passion forward. Designed to minimize the environmental impact of our own property as well as that of the neighboring community, The Museum Hotel paves a path for other hotels, venues, and event centers to follow suit.
While the energy of the Laguna Beach environment is a major part of the Museum Hotel experience, LB residents can always find solitude and peace at home when they need it. Visitors can find a little personal downtime by retreating to the secluded atmosphere of The Museum Hotel’s Sanctuary, a pool and garden area set up high off the street with views over the entire city, beaches, and cliffs.
We understand that there will be many concerns and questions about the planned growth and development, as well as other projects on the horizon.
With each project, an in-depth parking proposal will be submitted that adds parking spaces, beyond what’s required, to our city. A parking and traffic study is part of our application process and will be open for public review. We plan to meet and exceed all parking requirements.
Yes, there were gas stations up and down Coast Highway back in the day, but they were all removed on the ocean-side of Coast Highway. We did an environmental impact assessment when the property was in escrow, and we will deal with any remaining soil vapors in the proper ways, as dictated by the EPA and OC Environmental Health Division when the time comes.
Right now, we are still pending approval, so we do not have exact dates or timelines for the construction process.
An environmental impact study will be conducted during construction where we comply with all environmental guidelines. Additionally, we intend meet LEED’s Bronze standards for energy efficiency and we will be implementing advanced technology for trash and waste disposal. We will lead the way in Laguna Beach in hotel construction as Sustainability and Green Technology will be a significant part of this development.
The overall site will contain a hotel, restaurants, spa, social spaces with beverage service, retail locations, and a living gallery.
As our name indicates, creativity and artistic endeavors are at the center of everything we develop. We are committed to the artistic heritage of Laguna and want to see it thrive again. Moving forward, Laguna Creative Ventures will play a critical role in attracting guests who appreciate Laguna’s artistic past as well as the innovative creative endeavors of today and beyond.
By creating, developing, and nurturing partnerships with museums and artists, we will provide many opportunities throughout the year for community attendance, as well as participation.
A study will be done to determine how to best mitigate any resulting traffic/parking issues that could arise during construction.
Indian Territory has already left the current location and we will be working the other businesses to ensure needs are met.