The City of Los Angeles shared new specifics and the latest updates on its mixed-use office building planned to go up on the former site of the Parker Center last week. The community meeting, held at the Japanese American Cultural and Community Center in Little Tokyo on the evening of Tuesday, Nov. 19, was the first since a request for qualifications was sent out in April.
The meeting centered on the ongoing construction of Los Angeles Street Civic Building, which is the first phase of the city’s wider Civic Center Master Plan, which is aimed at reshaping the center of city and county government with new office and residential buildings, and pathways linking the area to the Historic Core, Little Tokyo, and El Pueblo.
Approximately 40 people attended, including developer representatives and residents of Little Tokyo, and members of the Bureau of Engineering and Department of City Planning.
“This will be the first of what we hope to be a brand new Civic Center,” Shawn Kuk, planning director for 14th District City Councilman José Huizar, said at the meeting. “This prospective district will rekindle relationships [with other neighborhoods] that were lost many decades ago.”
The meeting was centered on providing details about the expected building and briefing Angelenos on the next steps, including the request for proposals process, set to start in early 2020.
The project would be developed by a public-private partnership, with the private developer handling design, financing, construction and long-term operation. The city would then, once the building is ready for occupancy, begin making annual payments on it, according to Reza Bagherzadeh, project head for the building at the Bureau of Engineering. After 30 years of payments, the building will fall into full city ownership.
The city requires that the building be able to house 3,000 workers, as well as underground parking, a conference center, a childcare center, ground-floor retail space, and a 2,000-3,000-square-foot community center. The city is looking for the building to be anywhere from 15-29 stories tall, Bagherzadeh said.
Initial plans also call for a new east-west paseo to be created on the south end of the site, linking Los Angeles and Judge John Aiso streets.
Bagherzadeh said that once the RFP is released next year there will be a blackout period until a preferred proposal is selected in early 2021, at which point community engagement would begin again.
Prior to 2009, the Parker Center served as the headquarters of the Los Angeles Police Department. The building was originally constructed in 1955 but was given the Parker Center moniker in 1966 to honor former Los Angeles Police Department chief William H. Parker. The site had grown infamous since its construction, as a symbol of the LAPD’s militarization under Parker’s watch.
The Los Angeles Street Civil Building is expected to break ground by the end of 2021 after the site is fully cleared. If the time line holds the Bureau of Engineering expects the building to be finished by 2024.