The City of Los Angeles is preparing to solicit interest in a potential redevelopment of the West L.A. Civic Center, according to a motion introduced yesterday by 11th District Councilmember Mike Bonin.
"Redevelopment of the West L.A. Civic Center would provide a tremendous opportunity for a revitalized area that could benefit the community," reads Bonin's motion. "The community and the City could shape and drive a shared vision that could include outdoor public space, improved recreation, library, and senior facilities, as well as sorely needed affordable housing and workforce housing for local seniors and residents."
Located in the Sawtelle district, the West L.A. Civic Center is comprised of multiple City-owned properties in the area roughly bounded by Santa Monica Boulevard, Corinth Avenue, Iowa Avenue, and Colby Avenue. The properties include the West L.A. Civic Center Building and courtyard, the Felicia Mahood Multipurpose Center, the West L.A. Regional Library, the West L.A. LAPD Building, and multiple parking lots.
Additionally, the County of Los Angeles is now in the process of acquiring a former State courthouse located within the Civic Center, which could also be folded into a master plan. The County has already initiated outreach for a potential redevelopment of the property.
Bonin's motion directs City staff to initiate a review of the properties within the West L.A. Civic Center and their suitability for redevelopment and report back to the City Council within 60 days. Additionally, the motion directs staff to hire a qualified consultant, if necessary, to draft a request for proposals, determine potential financing structures, review existing civic office leases in the Sawtelle area, and assess past studies for redevelopment.
One such study was conducted in 2012, when architecture firm Gruen Associates was commissioned to develop a conceptual vision for the complex.
The West L.A. Civic Center was developed in the mid-20th century as a satellite administrative hub for the Westside of Los Angeles. Its buildings are of the Mid-Century Modern style, and are connected through a central pedestrian plaza and mall, according to the Los Angeles Conservancy.
Bonin's motion contends that the City of Los Angeles has "squandered a tremendous resource," in the Civic Center, describing the area as "grim and foreboding," with "acres of concrete and wasted space."
Bonin's motion has been referred to the City Council's Information, Technology, and General Services Committee for consideration at a future meeting.
- Sawtelle (Urbanize LA)