Metro Chugs Forward on Union Station

Metro in April spent $75 million to buy Union Station and 38 acres of surrounding land. The agency last week began meeting design, planning and real estate teams about crafting a long-term master plan for the area.

DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES - The Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority has picked six finalists in its search for a company to design a new master plan for Union Station.

Metro bought the 72-year-old rail hub and about 38 acres of surrounding land for $75 million in April. The purchase put the agency in control of nearly 6 million square feet of mixed use entitlements.

One of the six finalists will be tasked with devising a master plan that considers commercial development, future parking demands, connectivity to nearby neighborhoods, pedestrian and bicycle access and how the station will accommodate growing transportation needs.

The finalists are:

• Ehrenkrantz, Eckstut & Kuhn Architects

• Gruen Associates/Grimshaw Architects

• IBI Group/Foster+Partners

• Moore Rubell Yudell

• NBBJ/Ingenhoven Architects

• Renzo Piano Building Workshop/Parsons Transportation Group Inc.

The list still needs final approval from the Metro board of directors. If OK'd, the six finalists would be directed to submit more extensive proposals for the site. They would also receive $10,000 stipends to spend on their proposals. Metro's current timeline calls for selecting an architect team by March and having a master plan ready by August 2013.