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|Downtown Parking Gets Makeover|
By Melonie Magruder
March 23, 2010 -- An ambitious plan to replace or retrofit all six Downtown public parking structures, as well as the two at Santa Monica Place, is moving ahead as planned. Work on two of the three larger structures and those at the remodeled mall has already been completed. And the design process is moving forward on the others.
Adopted in 2006, the City’s $180 million Downtown parking plan calls for tearing down and rebuilding Downtown's three smaller public parking structures – structures 1, 3 and 6 – to add as many as 712 new spaces to the district. The City's three largest existing structures – structures 2, 4 and 5 – will remain standing and are being retrofitted for earthquake safety.
A plan to build one or two new structures on 5th and 6th streets totaling as many as 1,000 additional spaces is on hold and could be revisited in the future if the need for more parking arises, City officials said.
“Parking has always been the number one issue with our Downtown business community," said Miriam Mack, the City’s economic development manager. "Our parking strategy is a progressive effort, and the policy allows us to re-assess plans according to rising needs as we go along.”
Two of the large parking structures -- Structure 5 at 1440 4th Street and Structure 4 at 1321 2nd Street -- already have been retrofitted for earthquake safety.
On March 23, the City Council will take up a recommendation to award a building contract to retrofit Structure 2 at 1235 2nd Street,
“We’ve selected a contractor and, once the staff report has been done, we hope to begin work in April,” Rodriguez said.
The improvements should be completed by mid-November, she said. "Otherwise,
we’ll have to shut construction down for the holidays and start
again in early 2011.”
Also moving forward are plans to tear down and rebuild the three smaller structures to add more parking and power them with roof-mounted solar panels.
Morley Construction Company has been selected to design and build Structure 6 at 1431 2nd Street and will go before the council April 13 with a recommendation for a guaranteed maximum contract for pre-design construction services, Rodriguez said.
“This will allow us to start in on the design for Structure 6,” Rodriguez said. “Funding would then need to be approved to build, and we are looking at various financing methods for that.”
The process is also starting for Structure 1 at 1234 4th Street. Next month, City staff expects to present the council with design ideas to rebuild and incorporate more parking spaces there, Rodriguez said.
“Parking has always been the number one issue with our Downtown business community,"
parking strategy is a progressive effort, and the policy allows us to
re-assess plans according to rising needs as we go along.”
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