City Unveils Plans for Parker Center

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The existing Parker Center site is shown in blue. It is across the street from Union Center for the Arts, home of East West Players. (City of Los Angeles, Department of Public Works, Bureau of Engineering)

The Los Angeles Department of Public Works’ Bureau of Engineering is taking public comments about three proposals for Parker Center, the former headquarters of the LAPD, at 150 N. Los Angeles St.

Located across from Little Tokyo at First Street on the south and Judge John Aiso Street on the east, Parker Center served as the LAPD’s home base from 1954 to 2009, when the new headquarters opened at 100 W. First Street. The project site is considered part of the Little Tokyo neighborhood and is part of the Central City Community Plan.

The public review period for the proposals, which range from rehabilitation to demolition, began on Sept. 5 and ends on Oct. 21.

City Councilmember Jose Huizar, who represents the area, said, “I look forward to this discussion and hearing all views on what the future of this important site should be.”

The building has been vacated and secured. Due to the property’s close proximity to City Hall, the city has identified an opportunity to improve city services by reactivating this underutilized property. The potential alternatives that are under consideration:

• Rehabilitation: Under this alternative, the existing Parker Center building would be rehabilitated with various improvements, including seismic retrofitting and upgrades to ensure fire safety and energy efficiency. It would be reconfigured to provide office space for city employees, and rentable commercial space. The existing parking garage would be expanded to provide approximately 137 parking spaces.

This alternative also includes an optional inter-building tunnel that would connect City Hall East to the rehabilitated Civic Building.

• Partial Demolition, Rehabilitation, and Addition: This would include rehabilitation of a majority of the Parker Center building, similar to that of the previous alternative, as well as demolition of the Parker Center jail, which would be replaced with an expansion building. Combined with the existing Parker Center building, the expansion would expand the gross square footage to approximately 522,255 square feet, of which approximately 16,500 square feet would be for commercial space and a child care facility.

A connection between the expansion and the Parker Center building would be constructed. Approximately 328 parking spaces would be provided with this alternative. The expansion building would have a maximum height of approximately 200 feet. This also includes an optional inter-building tunnel that would connect City Hall East to the rehabilitated Civic Building.

Parker Center has been unoccupied since 2009 due to concerns about seismic and fire safety.

• Demolition and Build: This would result in the full demolition of the existing Parker Center building and construction of a new office building that would consist of approximately 753,730 gross square feet, and approximately 1,173 parking spaces with a maximum height of approximately 450 feet. The proposed 753,730-square-foot program could be accommodated in one or two buildings on the site. The new building(s) could take on a variety of configurations, but would generally fill the footprint of the existing Parker Center building.

Outdoor open space and a pedestrian connection between City Hall to the west and the Little Tokyo neighborhood to the east and south would be provided. This alternative also includes an optional inter-building tunnel or bridge that would connect City Hall East to the rehabilitated Civic Building.

On the basis of the Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR), the city has found that the project could have significant effects on the environment related to aesthetics, air quality, cultural resources, land use and planning, transportation and traffic. Other areas covered in the DEIR for which the project would not result in significant impacts are greenhouse gas emissions, geology and soils, hazards and hazardous materials, noise and vibration, utilities and service systems, and energy.

To see the report, go to http://eng.lacity.org/techdocs/emg/park_center.htm, call Paul Young of the Bureau of Engineering at (213) 485-4776, or visit the Little Tokyo Branch Library, 203 S. Los Angeles St.

In accordance with CEQA (California Environmental Quality Act) guidelines, comments on the DEIR will be restricted to written communication. Send comments to: Jim Doty, Environmental Affairs Officer, City of Los Angeles, Bureau of Engineering, 1149 S. Broadway, Suite 600, Los Angeles, CA 90015 or email [email protected]

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