Merlone Geier Partners, in partnership with GLJ Partners, is moving ahead with a new $110-million mixed-use housing project in Marina Del Rey called STELLA Luxury Apartments.

Merlone Geier Partners, in partnership with GLJ Partners, is moving ahead with a new $110-million mixed-use housing project in Marina Del Rey called STELLA Luxury Apartments.

The two planned modern mid-rises, consisting of 244 luxury apartment homes above 9,000 sq ft of retail space and two levels of parking, will be the only residential project of this size in West Los Angeles that is projected to open in the next two years. In compliance with the city of Los Angeles� affordable housing regulations, 24 of the units will be offered at below market rates.

Groundbreaking is planned for September, with completion targeted for spring 2012. GLJ Builders West, the project�s Carlsbad-based general contractor, is soliciting bids at this time. The architect is Santa Barbara-based DesignARC.

In compliance with Los Angeles� green building ordinance, the project will be LEED certified for its incorporation of sustainable materials, healthier interior finishes and energy-efficient construction techniques � an eco-friendly first for Marina Del Rey. The project team, including architectural design firm DesignARC and Arroyo Interior Design, is striving for LEED silver certification. A new pedestrian-friendly streetscape will include 15 new street trees, supporting Mayor Villaraigosa�s �Million Trees Initiative.�

�The chic eco-conscious design of the project, along with a vibrant new streetscape, abundant amenities and retail offerings, will enhance and energize this empty corner, creating an exciting and engaging new entryway to Marina Del Rey,� says Jim Atkins, MGP�s managing partner.

Atkins has a strong background in building stylish, sustainably superior homes. As former managing director of The South Group, Los Angeles� most distinguished eco-friendly residential development company and national leader in smart urban planning, he helped lead the revitalization of a section of downtown�s South Park neighborhood into L.A.�s first and only sustainable high-rise community � a trio of condos called Elleven, Luma and Evo. Luma and Elleven were California�s first LEED gold certified condos, earning accolades from Mayor Villaraigosa and other city leaders, and inspiring the city�s new green building codes and downtown design guidelines.

Atkins and his team�s efforts in Marina Del Rey to create a new green urban high-density, mixed-use project � proven to generate less traffic, a reduced carbon footprint and minimize impact on the community � have garnered support from Councilmember, 11th District, Bill Rosendahl, as well as Del Rey and Venice Neighborhood Councils.

�We�re grateful for the support of the Del Rey and Venice neighborhoods, Councilmember Rosendahl and the Mayor�s office,� says Atkins. �We couldn�t have proceeded on this project without their support.�

Located a few blocks from the marina, the apartments will embrace the prevalent coastal vibe, but have a unique urban setting all its own surrounded by a bustling street front of shopping, dining and entertainment offerings. Within easy walking distance are two multiplex movie theaters, three grocery stores, the Villa Marina Marketplace with 70 specialty shops and restaurants and Jerry�s Famous Deli.

The apartments, averaging approximately 975 sq ft, will feature refined finishes, modern accessories and exceptional high-end amenities, much like a condominium � all to create a resort-like feel. Amenities will include a swimming pool/spa retreat with a beach, sun deck and private cabanas; community room with event kitchen; sky lounge with marina views; fitness room and yoga studio; spa services, bicycle repair/cleaning/ storage area; Cyber Caf�, and a media/screening room.

The project is expected to create between 300 and 400 construction jobs over the next two years, plus 10 permanent jobs, not including retail.