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Council Approves Contract to Spruce Up Downtown Parking Structures

By Lookout Staff

July 24 -- The six Downtown public parking structures will get a $3.6 million makeover that includes painting the structures, repairing the concrete planters and replacing the signs that indicate the number of spaces available.

Under the contract with AWI Builders, Inc. unanimously approved by the City Council Wednesday night, the three taller parking structures -- 2, 4 and 5 -- will also get new artist-designed features in the entryways for vehicles and pedestrians, as well as enhanced lighting.

The features include new signs and light tubes at the entrances, according to the contract.

The project – which includes using $1.7 million in earthquake redevelopment funds – will temporarily spruce up the three smaller structures – 1, 3 and 6 -- although they are slated for the wrecking ball. The interim improvements will cost about $260,000 each.

“While Parking Structures 1, 3 and 6 are slated for demolition, all six parking structures are in need of repainting and would benefit from improvements to enhance their appearance,” staff wrote in its report to the council.

Under an ambitious $180 million plan to add 1,700 new spaces over the next decade, the City will seismically upgrade and renovate structures 2, 4 and 5 and demolish structures 1, 3 and 6, replacing them with larger structures that could include state-of-the-art movie theaters.

The proposed plan calls for painting the ceilings of all six garages with vivid colors unique to each of the structures, enhancing the lighting and refurbishing the signage at access points.

“The concept is a simple and economical way to enhance the appearance and differentiate the garages from one another,” staff wrote.

The façade improvements were designed by Pugh + Scarpa Architects under a $107,000 contract awarded in January 2006. Pugh + Scarpa Architects and artist Cliff Garten, who created the design.

AWI Builders, Inc. – which submitted the only bid – “has successfully completed projects similar in size and scope of work” at the parking structures, staff said.

The initial stages of the City’s Downtown parking plan – which calls for retrofitting and rehabbing the three large nine-story structures flanking the Third Street Promenade and the two structures at Santa Monica Place – have been moving ahead.

The first of the three smaller parking structures slated for demolition will likely come down after the 2009 holiday season, according to City officials. The structures will be demolished one at a time, with the second structure coming down a year after the first.





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