[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.