It only takes 80 seconds (although in real life it took a little more than two years) to watch West Hollywood’s innovative new parking structure go from start to finish.
The time-lapse video posted above shows construction beginning on the site behind City Hall and facing Sweetzer Avenue. That’s where 66 parking spaces have been replaced by a building opening tomorrow that will house 200 vehicles.
The structure, popularly known as the “robo garage” because of its automation, is 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.
The garage contains four entry bays features a large glass window facing east toward Sweetzer 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 also is 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. Adjacent to the garage, and just behind City Hall, is a community patio.
Some critics have questioned the $18 million cost of the garage, suggesting it is being paid for out of the city’s General Fund. In fact, the city issued over $20 million in bonds, and money from the General Fund and from parking sources such as garage parking charges will be used to pay for construction of the garage, repairs to Sweetzer Avenue and other related work.
The garage opening ceremony, to which the public is invited, will take place from 5 to 8 p.m. tomorrow at City Hall, 8300 Santa Monica Blvd. at Sweetzer. It will feature comments from members of the West Hollywood City Council at 6:15 p.m., and representatives from the design and construction firms who worked on the $18 million project will be in attendance. Refreshments, including food from restaurants in the Center City, will be served, and there will be a music mix by DJ Derek Monteiro.
The celebration will include hosted tours of the garage exterior with groups of event attendees entering the parking bays to view artist murals located within them. Event parking will be available at the Kings Road parking structure, located at 8383 Santa Monica Blvd. at Kings, two blocks west of City Hall.