Members of the West Hollywood City Council celebrated a milestone on Tuesday for the city’s new automated parking structure with a topping-off ceremony and ceremonial beam-signing for the facility located behind West Hollywood City Hall.
Council members Abbe Land and John Duran called the new automated structure an innovative solution to congestion in a portion of the city where competition for street parking can leave motorists with few options. The new structure is not expected to be fully completed until the fall. It will serve West Hollywood City Hall, located at 8300 Santa Monica Blvd., during regular business hours, and nearby businesses at night and on holidays and weekends.
“The one constant request in the city is more parking,” Duran said. “We have managed to do a lot of great stuff on both the west end and east end of town because we have public parks there where we were able to take advantage of large swaths of real estate where we can build new parking structures and new parking opportunities. But the middle of the city has always been deeply flawed and challenging because we don’t have large swaths of real estate. We have this narrow corridor of businesses, and right behind them are residences and apartments. So in order to build something, you have to tear something down. Well there is nothing to tear down. You would lose the basic fabric of what is West Hollywood.”
Duran added that because the former surface lot behind city hall was small — with approximately 70 spaces — city planners were faced with the challenge of creating a structure that would serve needs while justifying cost. The solution was an automated structure where motorists will exit their vehicles at one of four entry bays, and machines and lifts will move the vehicles into one of 200 spaces.
The city broke ground on the $16 million project last March, and it is part of West Hollywood’s 25th anniversary capital campaign, which began in 2009. The new structure will be the first large-scale automated parking structure on the West Coast. It is being built by contractor T.B. Penick & Sons from a design by architects LPA Inc., with the parking technology company Univision constructing the automated system.
The new facility will be equal in height to the three-story city hall, and a 25-foot-wide community plaza will separate the two buildings. The parking structure will also have aesthetic elements, such as a large glass window through which people can watch vehicles being moved. Fixed art by artist Ned Kahn will also be installed.
Land said she believes the parking structure will create many benefits for the city, and added that it is encouraging to see the building taking shape. The rest of the work will primarily involve the installation of the automated lifts.
“We will have 200 spaces with this new automated technology that lets us build this remarkable parking structure in this very small footprint to accommodate so many people,” Land said. “This building will be a LEED-certified building. It’s being made with good materials including a lot of recycled materials, and it’s just really amazing that it’s here and we are the first on the West Coast. Once again, the city of West Hollywood makes history.”
Visitors and employees are still encouraged to park at the Kings Road Municipal parking structure while the remaining construction is completed.
Parking validations are provided, and a shuttle runs from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. between city hall and the Kings Road structure at 8383 Santa Monica Blvd.
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