By Terry Miller
A local resident and volunteer for Arcadia Police Department, Art Fry, recently approached Arcadia Weekly concerned that part of the original Santa Anita Inn is still standing while the contactors are prepping the site for the ambitious new mixed-use/hotel development known as Le Meridian – One Gallop Way.
Apparently, that part of the 1955 building is slated for demolition in Phase Two of the project for the hotel condo tower.
The approved architectural design for the mixed-use project was originally French Normandy architecture, with eight floors and measuring 95 feet in height as allowed under the H8 Height Overlay. Some of the attributes that lend to this style included pilasters; an accentuated chimney clad with stone veneer, as well as pronounced trim and strategically placed cornices. The façade of the building was adorned with many different forms such as cylindrical corner pieces and curvilinear balconies with decorative wrought-iron railings. As part of the original approval, it was agreed upon that the aesthetics and architectural features would be modified in a collaborative effort between the city and design team.
The Santa Anita Inn, formerly the Flamingo Hotel and the Ramada Inn, was a two-story hotel comprised of six buildings with 110 rooms (34,775-square-feet), that was originally constructed in 1955 and remodeled in 1985.
On March 18, 2014 the city council approved the Seabiscuit Pacifica Specific Plan project for two hotels (Marriott Residence Inn and Fairfield Inn & Suites) that totaled 142,320-square-feet of hotel space in two connected buildings, with a total of 210 rooms, and a hotel condominium tower with 50 units.
These project components were to be developed in phases, with Phase 1 consisting of the two Marriott hotels and a remnant of the existing Santa Anita Inn (63 rooms plus a new lobby) remaining on site. Phase 2 of the project was for the demolition of the remnant of the Santa Anita Inn, and the development of the hotel condominium tower.