WeHo Breaks Ground on $18 Million ‘Robo Garage”

City Manager Paul Arevalo, Cuncilmen Jeffrey Prang, Mayor Pro-Tempore D'Amico, Mayor Abbe Land, Councilmen John Heilman, Councilmen John Duran (Photo Jon Viscott)
City Manager Paul Arevalo, Cuncilmen Jeffrey Prang, Mayor Pro-Tempore D’Amico, Mayor Abbe Land, Councilmen John Heilman, Councilmen John Duran (Photo Jon Viscott)

[dropcap]W[/dropcap]est Hollywood formally broke ground yesterday on construction of an $18 million automated parking structure behind City Hall that has been dubbed the “robo garage.”

City Council members and city offiicials gathered at the site behind City Hall at the intersection of Santa Monica Boulevard and Sweetzer for the event, which celebrated the first municipal project of its kind on the West Coast. The garage operates like a valet system, with a driver pulling into an entry bay and getting out of his car, which the automated system then takes and parks in an available space.

It will offer 200 parking spaces on a lot that now houses 66 spaces in an area of the city where public parking is often hard to find. The garage will be the same height as the adjacent three-story City Hall and the structures will be separated by a 25-foot wide community plaza.

The garage will contain four entry bays, and it will feature a large glass window facing east toward Sweetzer Avenue where people can watch as mechanical shuttles carry vehicles in and out of bays. The design includes roof-mounted photovoltaic solar panels, use of a sustainable material made from recycled grocery bags and drought-tolerant landscaping. There will also be a fixed art installation by artist Ned Kahn, whose concept consists of a grid of large glass marbles that will reflect the moving parts inside the garage.

The project is anticipated to be completed in the Fall or Winter of 2015.  While it is underway, City Hall visitor parking will be offered at the Kings Road Municipal Parking Garage, two blocks west of City Hall at 8383 Santa Monica Blvd. at Kings. Parking validations for City Hall visitors will be available at the City Hall lobby reception desk. In addition, for people who need assistance, there will be a free wheelchair-accessible shuttle called “City Hall Link,” which will run weekdays from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. between the Kings Road garage and City Hall. (City Hall is open Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.)

More information about the project is available online.

City Manager Paul Arevalo and Public Works Director Oscar Delgado with Public Works employees (Photo Jon Viscott)
City Manager Paul Arevalo and Public Works Director Oscar Delgado with Public Works employees (Photo Jon Viscott)

 

The site behind city hall where the Robo garage is being built (Photo Jon Viscott)
The site behind city hall where the Robo garage is being built (Photo Jon Viscott)
West Hollywood City Hall's "robo garage."
West Hollywood City Hall’s “robo garage.”

 

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Shawn Thompson
Shawn Thompson
8 years ago

Looks like the 18 million spending binge that will be the gravy train for every company and maintenance firm that gets to grab in the residents cookie jar isn’t getting rave reviews by the residents? Does our city council really care? Even with the residents clearing wanting rotation of leadership by voting clearly for term limits will that be enough to break up the old boys club on council and at city hall? Well at least everyone at city hall got a free bus pass for their “inconvenience” while they build this thing.. Our tax payer money put to good… Read more »

SinLA
SinLA
8 years ago

Boondoggle. I’m in favor of development, but there’s no burning need for an $18M parking structure in that part of town. Such a waste of money…

Cline Jack
8 years ago

What a waste of money. Why not just build a regular parking structure for half the price and with more parking spots. The City Council are a bunch of arrogant snobs. I attended a City Council Meeting and they think they are better than the people they are suppose to represent. The Council Members roll their eyes when citizens speak who they don’t agree with. The. Council is nothing but a mutual self admiration society. Thank God for term limits. Don’t vote for anyone on the current council for any other office.

Gary Ban
8 years ago

I am all for high tech progress and understand the need for these in asia. But WE are NOT that land locked. We DESPERATELY need more parking but larger conventional garages would accomplish more for far less. Could all the wackos stay the hell off the next City Council ballot so that ONE REASONABLE candidate per slot can finally be fielded so we can dump the current Council???

DK
8 years ago

WeHo City Council has jumped the shark. This is where your exorbitant parking fines are going (besides into the City Manger’s pockets to tune if $500,000 a year). It is past time to vote these bums out. City Council acts as if they are nobility and WeHo is their own personal fiefdom, shaking down the peasants for as much money as possible. As long as they keep being re-elected, none of it will change. It’s time to vote these bums out. There is no creative thinking on City Council. I am very liberal, but WeHo’s government has become so intrusive… Read more »

Shawn Thompson
Shawn Thompson
8 years ago

KCET got it boldly right a few years ago when they exposed the big salary’s at city hall and the parking game in #weho thats reached METER MADNESS
http://www.kcet.org/shows/socal_connected/content/politics/meter-madness.html

Shawn Thompson
Shawn Thompson
8 years ago

In my view this is a spending binge on a approach to parking that will cost millions more to operate in its life than a regular lot. And is this more of the core city’s leadership viewing both the residents and visitors as a profit center to shake as much money out of when they are in the limits of ‪#‎weho‬. Its a well known fact that parking fee’s and fines is how the city has been lead into balancing its budget and paying the city manager roughly $500,000 a year when all is said in done, along with many… Read more »

Jonathan
Jonathan
8 years ago

Although I am excited about new development throughout the city and think it can be good for our growth, I am very concerned about who’s at the wheel of overview. On every new development we see happening some of the very basics are just ignored or never addressed. For this project If a contractor with a large pick up and lumber rack comes to pull a permit will the truck fit ? When a car alarm goes off in the garage how will that be addressed and what consideration is paid to the neighbors ? Who will manage the noise… Read more »

Rudolf Martin
Rudolf Martin
8 years ago

We will hardly be “the first robo garage on the west coast”. That honor goes to Santa Monica where the UCLA hospital has operated one for a couple of years now (with plenty of issues, but at least they got 250 spaces for $8 million). There is also a new private one near downtown LA. Apparently we have decided to remain a car-centric city after all. My objection to Robo-Parking behind the soon to be ex City Hall is just, that we are overpaying by at least 50%. Larry, you are applying your admirable creativity towards finding an angle that… Read more »

bree
bree
8 years ago

I live on Sweetzer diagonal from the city hall. I think this project is absolutely ridiculous. For $18 million they couldn’t have at least put it underground and left some open green space? And the neighbors that live directly next door will forever have to hear those garage doors opening and closing all day long. It blows my mind that there really was no other alternative or better ideas for the parking issue.

luca d
luca d
8 years ago

and when city hall moves to the south east corner of san Vicente and santa monica … ? this is an ego driven and unnecessary expenditure of city money and credit. break it down any way your accountant likes, but we really don’t ‘need’ this robo garage made of ‘sustainable materials’ barf. really? how many garbage bags does it take to build an $18 million garage? and what about the folks who live just south of this behemoth? i’m sure the living art display will brighten their quality of lives. and for the next two years, i’m sure there will… Read more »

SaveWeho
SaveWeho
8 years ago

Biggest waste of money and its all done for “flair”. I’m embarrassed by our City Council and planning committees. I cant wait for a brown out and all these city officials are stuck in their garages. Maybe they’ll work longer and find better ways to save money rather than this waste, or the 40k waste on rainbow sidewalks that can only be seen from the air and are skidded and dirty within days. That 18 million should have been put toward a trolley system down Santa Monica Blvd from La Brea to Doheny and maybe they wouldn’t need a garage.… Read more »

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