DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES — Federal officials this morning announced that  Skidmore, Owings & Merrill Architects has won the contract to build a $400 million Downtown courthouse.

SOM, which was founded in Chicago and has a Los Angeles office, will partner with Clark Construction on the 500,000-square-foot building slated to rise on the southwest corner of First Street and Broadway.

“Today, the new federal courthouse is that much closer to becoming a reality for downtown Los Angeles,” said Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard in a prepared statement. The selection, she said, “means we are moving toward the groundbreaking of a critically needed facility that will resolve long-standing security and space issues.”

The team beat out four other finalists who had been announced in March. Design work will begin immediately, with construction tentatively scheduled to start in the third quarter of 2013. Completion is expected by 2016, according to Roybal-Allard’s office.

Early renderings depict a simple rectangular design that appears to be fronted by glass.

The project will rise on a 3.6-acre eyesore property that once held a state office building. The Civic Center project will include 24 courtrooms, 32 judges’ chambers and 110 parking spots. It would house district judges, jury assembly facilities, offices for the U.S. Marshals service and others.

SOM’s credits include the 31-story Chicago Civic Center, the FBI Denver Field Office and the under-construction NATO Headquarters in Belgium. SOM has also previously worked with Clark Construction on the San Francisco Civic Center Complex completed in 1998.

This marks the second current Civic Center project for Maryland-based Clark Construction. The company is partners with architecture firm AC Martin on the $231 million renovation of the Hall of Justice.


©Los Angeles Downtown News.