The city will hold a groundbreaking ceremony at 5 p.m. today to celebrate the official beginning of construction of its $18 million automated parking garage behind City Hall.
The garage, dubbed a “robo garage” because of its ability to take one’s car and automatically park it without human intervention, will contain 200 parking spaces and an adjacent community plaza. Both will be located behind City Hall, which is on the southwest corner of Santa Monica Boulevard and Sweetzer.
The garage will contain four entry bays and 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 public artist Ned Kahn, whose concept consists of a grid of large glass marbles that will reflect the moving parts inside the garage.
The automated garage is designed by LPA Inc., a sustainable design architecture firm, which has completed numerous award-winning public and private buildings throughout Southern California. The mechanical system that stores and retrieves vehicles is designed by Unitronics, an international leader in automated parking systems. The structure will be built by T.B. Penick & Sons Inc., a San Diego-based contractor that has built numerous parking structures and private and municipal buildings around Southern California. Construction of the garage and community plaza is anticipated to continue through until Fall 2015.
The groundbreaking ceremony will feature comments from members of the West Hollywood City Council. Attendees will include community members and representatives from the design and construction firms working on the project. The event is free and open to the public.
During construction, City Hall visitor parking is located 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.)