After talking with the city and the Laguna Beach Company about the possibility of consolidating the Laguna College of Art + Design’s campus across Laguna Canyon Road at the Hive, LCAD officials recently announced the school will not be pursuing the move.
“I’ve held subsequent conversations with city officials and the Laguna [Beach] Company to gather more information and assess the viability of this idea,” LCAD President Jonathan Burke said in a statement. “LCAD’s CFO has estimated potential costs and analyzed our financial capacity. Though an appealing concept, we determined that the proposed project is not feasible. Consequently, we have concluded that we will retain Main Campus in its present location.”
Last month, Mo Honarkar’s Laguna Beach Company presented a list of its upcoming development projects to the City Council, including the prospect of consolidating LCAD’s campus. The Memorandum of Understanding approved by the Council stated that the Laguna Beach Company planned to submit an application for city staffers and the Planning Commission to review the consolidation concept by the end of the year. The plan included Seven-Degrees, 891 Laguna Canyon Road; The Hive, 805-859 Laguna Canyon Road; and Art-A-Fair, 777 Laguna Canyon Road.
After the Laguna Beach Company’s presentation, Burke said in an interview that he hadn’t seen the conceptual plan but was interested in discussing the idea to see what was involved. Burke said at the time that the Arts District location was appealing in part because students would have had a much shorter walk to downtown amenities without having to cross Laguna Canyon Road.
LCAD has buildings on both sides of Laguna Canyon Road, and the college has had a presence at the properties at the Hive for 25 years, Burke said, including freshman housing at the site and student art labs.