Parker Center

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Parker Center

Postby nichols » Tue Mar 25, 2003 5:50 pm

LA Times reports that the LAPD is looking at building a new headquarters at First and Alameda. That would seem to indicate a possibility that Parker Center could be spared...

March 22, 2003

City Panel Advises Buying a Building to Serve as Temporary LAPD Headquarters
When police move out, the office space could be turned over to other departments that now lease.
 
By Patrick McGreevy, Times Staff Writer
Los Angeles should buy an office building to serve as the temporary headquarters of the Police Department while a new facility is built to replace Parker Center, a city panel recommended Thursday.
The city's Municipal Facilities Committee, made up of top city administrators, said purchasing a temporary building and later using it for other city departments would be less expensive than leasing space.   
   
   
 The City Council voted last month to build a new police headquarters building, which is planned for the corner of 1st and Alameda streets and is expected to take six years to complete.
Buying an existing office building as an interim headquarters would cost $2 million more each year than staying in Parker Center. But Chief Legislative Analyst Ron Deaton said the city would realize long-term savings because other departments now spending $8.5 million to lease downtown space would be able to move into the purchased building when the LAPD moves into new headquarters.
"It is clear that, if the city chooses to move LAPD to a temporary off-site location, then the city's investment in the purchase of a new structure is the most feasible and financially viable alternative," Deaton said in a report.
The report, forwarded to the City Council for consideration, identifies three possible buildings for purchase: one at 801 Grand Ave., another at 600/650 S. Spring and a third identified only as being on Broadway and owned by Transamerica.

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Postby nichols » Wed Apr 02, 2003 4:12 pm

From the Downtown News 3/31/03

Parker Center Plan Picks Up Steam

Downtown Firms to Design Police Headquarters in Little Tokyo

by Jason Mandell

Plans to build a new police headquarters on a 10-acre plot just blocks from Parker Center are moving forward, with two Downtown-based design firms selected to oversee the project.

The Municipal Facilities Committee last week chose DMJM + Harris and Johnson Fain to draft a master plan for the roughly $410 million complex, which would also include a fire station, jail, the city's emergency operations center and possibly a bomb squad.

Bradley Smith, chief deputy city engineer, said the committee accepted an earlier recommendation by the Bureau of Engineering to hire the firms. Smith said the timeline for the project is six or seven years.

The site of the new headquarters is in Little Tokyo, bounded by Alameda, Temple, Vignes and First. Last year the city purchased the $43 million property from Evergreen International, and planned to turn it into a 1,200-space parking lot for municipal workers. Jerry Miller, assistant chief legislative analyst, said the number of parking spaces may change as the master plan is developed. A light rail station has also been proposed for the site.

Smith said the new police headquarters will cost about $200 million, while the fire station, jail and other buildings will cost an additional $210 million.

Funding for the complex will come from a $600 million bond passed last year for the construction of a new LAPD headquarters, two bomb squads, and a handful of new police stations citywide.

The companies are expected to deliver the designs for the master plan within four months, said Lauren Melendrez, whose company Melendrez Design Partners is one of several subcontractors involved. Melendrez, who in the late 1990s worked on a master plan for the civic center district dubbed the "Ten Minute Diamond Plan," said it is a short timeframe for such a large project.

"It can be done, but it's quick," said Melendrez.

Smith said the city has hired a different architectural firm to design each building in the complex. The firms include Tetra Designs, Fluor and HOK. An architect for the police headquarters has not yet been chosen, since its size has yet to be determined.

Bill Moran, a consultant to Police Chief William Bratton, said the headquarters will be between 300,000 and 500,000 square feet. Moran said the city is deciding whether the facility will house just Parker Center's 1,200 employees, or 500 additional police department staffers who work in leased spaces throughout Downtown.

"It is not operationally as effective to have departments fragmented throughout Downtown," Moran said. "The challenge is going to be the amount of funding available and the size of the building."

Economic Boost or Bust?

City officials see the new police headquarters as a boon to Downtown's redevelopment. Smith said Bureau of Engineering officials will consider installing one or several ground-floor businesses, such as a small restaurant, convenience store or dry cleaners.

"Hopefully, (the headquarters facility) is going to be an economic stimulus to the arts community and the business community that's building up around there," said Smith.

Smith said the complex could extend the boundaries of Downtown's core, similar to the expansion generated by Bunker Hill and Grand Avenue.

"There's a little bit of urban planning going on here," Smith said.

But not everyone is happy about the idea. Some residents and business owners in Little Tokyo and the Arts District say a new jail and bomb squad would hinder the area's growth.

"Right across the street from the Japanese American National Museum and the Geffen Museum you want to put a jail? You want to put a bomb squad facility?" asked Joel Bloom, an Arts District activist and owner of Bloom's General Store.

Bloom suggested the land be used for a mixed-use development, a gymnasium, an athletic field or a loft project.

Smith said concerns about a jail are unwarranted, since the area already houses a jail that would be moved to the new site.

"Parker Center's got the jail in it already," said Smith. "It's been there for 50 years."

Movin' On Up

While the department's new headquarters are being designed and built, the police commission is seeking to move Parker Center's 1,200 employees into a temporary facility. Parker Center has been considered a safety hazard since it suffered structural damage in the 1994 Northridge earthquake. The 48-year-old building is plagued with myriad problems including inadequate electrical and ventilation systems, broken elevators and a poor layout.

The city is examining several properties that could house a temporary police headquarters. Multiple city panels have recommended buying, rather than leasing, a structure. Officials said other city departments would move into the building once the LAPD left for its permanent headquarters.

A recent report by Chief Legislative Analyst Ron Deaton named buildings at 801 Grand Ave., 600-650 S. Spring St., and a Broadway structure that is part of the Transamerica complex as favorable sites for the temporary headquarters.

City Council members Nick Pacheco and Jan Perry, whose districts include most of Downtown and many of its neighboring communities, have endorsed the Spring Street site, saying it would help reduce crime in the area.

Police Commission Executive Director Joe Gunn said the area around the Spring Street structure would be too dangerous for department employees.

(page 1, 03/31/03)

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Postby nichols » Thu Aug 04, 2005 4:33 pm

August 4, 2005

latimes.com : California


LAPD Project Adds Green Space


In a nod to residents, officials create a more open design for the block where the new headquarters is planned.

By Cara Mia DiMassa, Times Staff Writer


In a victory for downtown Los Angeles' fledging residential community, the LAPD said this week that it was acceding to residents' demands and including more green space and adding retail areas to the massive new police headquarters slated to be built across the street from City Hall.

The new 11-story headquarters will rise on a block bordered by 1st, 2nd, Spring and Main streets — just south of the Civic Center. A master plan for downtown created in 1997 called for turning the block, occupied by the old Caltrans headquarters, into a public park.


So when the City Council decided in June 2004 to place the police complex there, downtown residents protested.

The block is at the heart of a growing loft and condo community, and the battle came to symbolize the efforts of residents to flex their political muscle and demand one neighborhood amenity now largely lacking downtown: open space.

"This is not a question of people not wanting LAPD downtown," said Cheryl McDonald, a downtown resident who helped lead the effort to get the parkland. "We'd love it. But this particular block is a gateway from the historic core to Little Tokyo to City Hall and the Civic Center."

After months of talks with residents, Yvette Sanchez-Owens, commanding officer of the LAPD's Facilities Management Division, said this week that planners had "overcome most of the public concerns."

Among the items that have been added are a swath of lawn about 130 by 200 feet along 2nd that will be bordered by trees and shrubbery; an outdoor cafe at Main and 2nd; a semi-public auditorium; and a retail space along Main that Sanchez-Owens said could be occupied by a flower store or newsstand. In addition, an open plaza along 1st will be larger than previously planned.

Officials hope that these spaces will provide residents and office workers with spaces for walking dogs, picnicking and other outdoor activities.

The design of the building itself was also altered to provide more open areas on the property and better views of City Hall. The original design called for a boxy building that covered half the block. Under the new plan, Sanchez-Owens said in an interview Wednesday, the building would be more triangular "so you get the open view from 2nd Street up to City Hall."

The structure's look was influenced in part by strict homeland security rules that govern the design of such elements as entrances, public spaces and parking. The building would be set back from the street but would still dominate the streetscape.

Jonathan Haynal, a senior associate at DMJM Design, which is designing the new headquarters in partnership with Roth + Sheppard Architects, said the building's angle "responds to the view" toward the former St. Vibiana's Cathedral," on the southeast corner of 2nd and Main. Haynal said the landscape along 2nd Street "very much feels like a park-like atmosphere."

Councilwoman Jan Perry, whose district includes the headquarters site, said the changes were a result of a series of public meetings "particularly focusing on residents in the immediate area."

"While some people have continued to be displeased," she said, "I think overall we have been very, very, very responsive to incorporating their comments, recommendations and desires into the overall design. And I think it's made it a better project. Much more of a human scale."

Some familiar with the process say criticism of the police headquarters proposal has died down a bit as plans move forward to create a 16-acre civic park or mall between City Hall and the Music Center. That is part of the Grand Avenue project, which will also include high-rise buildings, retail space and entertainment venues around Walt Disney Concert Hall.

But opponents of the LAPD project say those plans have only strengthened their resolve. In late June, the grass-roots group lacivicpark.org sent a letter to then-Mayor-elect Antonio Villaraigosa asking him to reevaluate the plans for the police headquarters.

"The fact that we are talking about plans now for this grand mall and Grand Avenue doesn't negate the significance of the block here," said McDonald, a leader of lacivicpark.org.

The plans "have changed substantially over the course of this dispute," she said. "We do appreciate the fact that the architects have been very considerate, listening, doing what they can…. However, if you look at the current plan, that 'green space' is a long lawn. And that's it."

Downtown has seen a boom in residential development over the last five years, as thousands of people have moved into converted historic lofts as well as new condominiums and apartments.

But despite the sudden popularity of downtown living, some residents have complained about a lack of park space and shopping. The LAPD headquarters touched a nerve, because some residents feared that it would prevent the block from sprouting retailers.

Downtown has very little park space. The biggest, Pershing Square, is mostly concrete.

Critics of the headquarters have denounced the LAPD for choosing to spend city money on acquiring new property — which it has had to do for a portion of the plan — while facing other budget challenges, including putting more officers on the street.

The 500,000-square-foot building, which has been in the planning stages for a decade, was originally estimated to cost $295 million to $311 million. Last year, the council approved a construction budget of about $303 million.

Sanchez-Owens said current cost estimates put the construction at 20% over budget. She said city officials were working to determine how they could contain those costs.

Opponents of the police plan have also cited problems with the proposed location of the LAPD's motor pool, which would be more than a block away, just south of the old St. Vibiana's, which is being converted into an arts facility.

They have said that building the LAPD garage, and its requisite carwash and gas station, could require tearing down the 1896 brick building on the site that houses the MJ Higgins Gallery and would quell the creative spirit of the area.

An environmental impact report on the entire police headquarters project is due at the end of September, said Cora Jackson-Fossett, a spokeswoman for the city Bureau of Engineering, which is shepherding the project in partnership with the LAPD. After that, she said, members of the public will have 45 days to comment on the report.

The building is expected to open in late 2009.

Sanchez-Owens called the process of creating a new headquarters "a balancing act between what the Police Department requires to operate efficiently and what the public wants to see…. You walk a tightrope and try to appease both sides and try to produce a building that is functional."

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Postby Lynxwiler » Thu Aug 04, 2005 4:57 pm

1st, 2nd, Spring and Main streets

I'm gonna miss that block. Although it was slightly rundown and badly maintained, the old CalTrans headquarters weren't that bad and neither were the other postwar buildings on the block. Their demo was halfway complete as of July 30.

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Postby nichols » Thu Feb 23, 2006 4:53 pm

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February 18, 2006

LOS ANGELES TIMES

ARCHITECTURE REVIEW


LAPD misfire

New headquarters complex is torn in too many design directions.


By Christopher Hawthorne, Times Staff Writer

There are some pieces of architecture that seem, in a fundamental sense, sure of themselves and their symbolic place in the city. And then there's the design for the new Los Angeles Police Department headquarters downtown, by Paul Danna and Jose Palacios of the firm DMJM. When the 11-story, 500,000-square-foot building is completed 3 1/2 years from now, across 1st Street from City Hall, it seems guaranteed to rank as one of the most conflicted landmarks in all of Los Angeles...

http://www.calendarlive.com/galleriesan ... t-features

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Postby nichols » Sat Oct 03, 2009 11:05 am

LAPD is moving into their new headquarters very soon. Here's a very strange bit of news from Eater:


Downtown: Taking over the old LAPD headquarters comes a mediterranean-influenced eatery called LA Reflections...The restaurant will be on the 2nd street side of the building at the intersection of Main and 2nd and is slated open winter 2010.

http://la.eater.com/archives/2009/09/29 ... _grill.php

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Postby nichols » Sat Oct 03, 2009 11:08 am


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Is it staying?

Postby khummer » Sat Oct 03, 2009 5:25 pm


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Postby nichols » Mon Oct 05, 2009 6:10 pm

DAILY NEWS

Cops say they'll miss old building

POLICE: New offices are dazzling, but they lack the memories of famous headquarters.
By Kevin Modesti, Staff Writer
Updated: 10/05/2009 04:13:29 PM PDT


http://www.dailynews.com/news/ci_13486118

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Postby nichols » Mon Oct 19, 2009 1:33 pm

CURBED

With LAPD Gone, What Will Become of Welton Becket's Parker Center?
Monday, October 19, 2009, by Adrian Glick Kudler

...The city's Municipal Services Committee has suggested five options to be evaluated in the EIR:

1. Adaptive reuse
2. Partial demolition and renovation
3. Total demolition, replacement with a parking lot
4. Demolition, replacement with a million square foot building and 500 parking spaces
5. Demolition, replacement with a million square foot building and 1,000 parking spaces

http://la.curbed.com/archives/2009/10/w ... r.php#more

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What’s Next for Parker Center? LA Downtown News 101609

Postby Steve Tepperman » Wed Oct 21, 2009 8:30 pm

What’s Next for Parker Center?

Parker Center, which the LAPD is vacating for a new headquarters a block away, has long been considered for demolition. A proposed study could recommend adaptive reuse instead.
Officials Say Dilapidated Police Headquarters Could Sit Vacant for Several Years
by Ryan Vaillancourt
Published: Friday, October 16, 2009 4:17 PM PDT

http://www.ladowntownnews.com/articles/ ... 335195.txt

DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES - The Civic Center has a new gem in the $440 million police headquarters building on First between Main and Spring streets. But as the Los Angeles Police Department preps for the Oct. 24 opening of the new digs, questions remain over what to do with its old home, Parker Center.

The answer to those questions may not come any time soon. Although city officials have known for years the property would be empty, only now are they working to hire a firm to conduct the necessary environmental studies.

In the coming weeks, the city Board of Public Works is expected to approve a contract with consultant Tetra Design to perform an Environmental Impact Report on the 1955 building, which many city and civic officials have long derided as dilapidated. The city council has set aside $1 million for the study, which is required because the edifice has been found to be eligible for state and national historical designations.

The proposed study comes more than three years after the council directed city agencies to evaluate the feasibility of demolishing the building and constructing a new city facility. Since then, it’s been a common expectation that Parker Center would be razed as soon as the LAPD finalized its move into the gleaming new headquarters a block away.

Parker Center was built for $6.1 million, according to the LAPD (it was named for Chief William H. Parker after he died in 1966). In the first few years after it opened, there was so much demand from public and civic groups for tours that the department staffed a full-time officer as a tour guide.

Now, as the department moves from Parker Center into the new building, it’s difficult to imagine visitors oohing and ahhing at the 54-year-old facility at First and Los Angeles streets. These days, they’d be more likely to question its safety.

“It’s shameful that we would force the police administration to have to live in that building when it has been so clearly, in my view, unsafe,” said Carol Schatz, president and CEO of the Central City Association, echoing a viewpoint others in Downtown have made for years.

Even outgoing LAPD Chief William Bratton recently joked at a media event inside the new headquarters that a Hollywood production company should buy Parker Center, just so they could blow it up.

Not so fast, said Ninth District Councilwoman Jan Perry.

“It’s very easy to say, ‘Let’s tear it down,’ but I think we need to be responsible about it and go through a process and document that it cannot be revived in any way before we draw that conclusion,” Perry said.


Civic Center Blight


In addition to evaluating the structural integrity of Parker Center, the EIR would analyze the feasibility of alternative options for the site.

A report by the city’s Municipal Services Committee on the proposed EIR identifies five options, including adaptive reuse of the building, partial demolition and renovation, and demolition and replacement with a temporary parking lot. The other options would be to demolish the building and replace it with a 1 million-square-foot structure and 500 parking spaces, or the same plan but with 1,000 parking spaces.

It may not be the most glamorous option, but finding an adaptive reuse for the structure could be the most environmentally friendly route.

“All the people that say ‘Hey, just tear it down, they don’t understand the embodied energy that goes into doing something like that, not to mention the resources and taxpayer money that would go into rebuilding a structure in a Downtown environment,” said Michael Schulman, an associate principal with the architecture firm Johnson Favaro, which has designed several civic facilities in Los Angeles. “It probably needs to be brought to current structural code, but as far as a good skeleton… it’s already there.”

No matter what happens to the site, it won’t be happening soon. Perry noted that environmental analyses can take several years. The Municipal Services Committee report indicates that the proposed consultant would initiate the study in December and finish it in June 2011.

“I think any sort of development is utterly dependent on the ability to generate funds or revenue to develop it, and in a down real estate market we will probably have to be realistic and slow our progress. But we can still move forward in making plans for the future,” Perry said.

In the meantime, Parker Center will continue to host limited LAPD operations, including a jail which occupies 72,000 square feet in the 325,000-square-foot building, and its Scientific Investigation Division, said Reginald Jones Sawyer, chief management analyst for the city.

Most of the building, however, will be left vacant, potentially adding to the Civic Center’s patchwork of abandoned public properties.

In the shadow of celebrated structures like City Hall, Walt Disney Concert Hall and the Caltrans buildings, there are at least three wallowing publicly owned sites. The property immediately west of City Hall is a former office tower that was razed after it suffered earthquake damage, and is now a fenced-off, graffiti-scarred plot.

A block away is the massive hole at First Street and Broadway, where the federal government planned to build a new courthouse until funding issues crippled progress. The earthquake-damaged County Hall of Justice, at Temple Street between Spring Street and Broadway, has been shuttered for years.

The layout does mark significant progress since 1997, however, when a coalition of city, state and federal agencies, along with the local business community, convened the Civic Center Authority and worked on a master plan for the area. It was known as the 10-Minute Diamond Plan because it sought to concentrate government offices within a 10-minute walk from City Hall. The state-sanctioned authority still exists, but meetings eventually “just sort of fizzled out,” Schatz said.

With the pending status of Parker Center, some suggest reconvening the authority.

“It might be time to revisit the Diamond Plan and bring back the parties that participated,” said Dan Ronsenfeld, planning deputy to L.A. County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas. Rosenfeld was a member of the group when he worked in the private sector. “It would be unfortunate if any one government made unilateral real estate decisions, without discussing it with everyone. We’re all neighbors there.”

Contact Ryan Vaillancourt at ryan@downtownnews.com.

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Postby nichols » Tue Nov 10, 2009 1:13 pm

LOS ANGELES TIMES

ARCHITECTURE REVIEW
A neighborly new police headquarters
It's not magical, but the new Los Angeles Police Department building downtown is a surprisingly successful piece of urban design.

By CHRISTOPHER HAWTHORNE
Architecture Critic
October 24, 2009

...If the LAPD's old headquarters, Welton Becket's crisply modern, almost delicate 1955 Parker Center, came to represent the "Dragnet"-era city and a simpler approach to policing, its new one, despite its lesser achievement as a piece of architecture, is freighted with symbolism far more complex...

...But Bratton and city leaders saw the site as the perfect spot for the LAPD to build a replacement for the aging Parker Center two blocks away. For its part, Parker Center appears poised to move into the center of a preservation debate, as city officials consider preliminary plans to replace it with a new administrative building as large as 700,000 square feet...

http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/ne ... 4170.story

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Postby nichols » Mon Apr 26, 2010 5:01 pm

2010: Still in a holding pattern
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Postby Pal George » Wed Apr 28, 2010 10:08 pm


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Postby nichols » Fri Jul 23, 2010 8:04 am

Danger Alert:

Swap Proposed: Courthouse Site for Parker Center
By ERIC RICHARDSON
Published: Friday, July 23, 2010, at 08:38AM

http://blogdowntown.com/2010/07/5528-sw ... for-parker


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