By SARAH SHMERLING | Managing Editor
After spending years held up in court, work has begun on the future Whole Foods and the Park project in Malibu, a development owned by President of the LAPD Police Commission and longtime Pacific Palisades resident Steve Soboroff.
“It’s a very small and intimate project,” Soboroff explained to the Palisadian-Post. “No parking structures, buildings only 15 percent of the land.”
In the development, located near the intersection of Cross Creek Road and Civic Center Way, a grocery store will occupy nearly 25,000 square feet of retail space. There will be over 13,000 square feet of additional commercial retail space for 10-12 complementary tenants, up to 4,000 square feet of outdoor seating and a landscape anchored by 80 California sycamore trees.
It will also include a 6,200-square-foot, fully accessible Shane’s Inspiration Playground and Kitchen Community Learning Garden for local students and adults who are interested in growing sustainable, organic food.
The project was a part of a legal battle after Malibu voters approved a formula retail ordinance, Measure R, and later voted down the project’s plans, which were, at the time, called Measure W.
“After 10 years, we are under construction and, although delayed, the Whole Foods and The Park project will be better than we ever anticipated,” Soboroff said. “[We are] keeping folks off PCH by providing the goods, services and atmosphere unique to and close to Malibu.”
Measure R has since been ruled illegal, allowing the project to break ground without voter appeal.
Soboroff, a man of many interests, was recently elected with a unanimous vote as president of the five-member Police Commission for the second time. He had been serving as vice president. He replaces Matt Johnson, who will now serve as vice president.
“Matt, your service as president has been nothing short of remarkable during a remarkably difficult time,” Soboroff said in a speech after his election, making note of how touchy the climate is around police officers.
“All of us need to push the reset button with those we have disagreed with … Fasten your seatbelts everybody, and let’s get moving,” Soboroff concluded.
He is also a real estate developer, philanthropist and one-time mayoral candidate.
When he has time, Soboroff also collects typewriters that were previously owned by famous individuals.