Last October, the City of Los Angeles began the demolition of Parker Center, the former headquarters of the Los Angeles Police Department.  Now, the search begins for a developer to replace the controversial Civic Center landmark.

On April 1, the City is scheduled to issue a request for qualifications for developers to construct new office tower on the property at 150 N. Los Angeles Street.  The anticipated project would be an approximately 27-story building - standing approximately 450 feet in height - with just over 750,000 square feet of government office space, 65,000 square feet of ground-floor commercial space, and subterranean parking for nearly 1,200 vehicles.  The building could house up to 3,200 city employees.

Responses to the request for proposals are due by May 28.

Though the response period has not opened yet, the request for proposals has been anticipated for some time.  Inframation - a news service which tracks infrastructure projects - reports that at least three teams have already formed to pursue the Parker Center replacement.  They include:

  • Fengate, Tutor Perini, and BIG Architecture.
  • Meridiam, Clark Construction, Edgemoor Infrastructure and Real Estate, SOM, and ENGIE.
  • Plenary, Johnson Controls, Webcor, and others.

The project is being pursued as a public-private partnership in which the City of Los Angeles will pay the private-sector development team to design, build, operate, and maintain the new office tower.  A similar arrangement has been employed for the construction and operation of the new automated people mover at Los Angeles International Airport, which recently broke ground.

At the current rate of progress, demolition of Parker Center is expected in December 2019.  Construction of its replacement could begin sometime in 2020, and completion of the new office tower could occur by 2023.

Parker Center, designed by Welton Becket, had been targeted for preservation by the Los Angeles Conservancy, and even members of the City's own Cultural Heritage Commission.  But its controversial origins - and its equally controversial namesake - created a sticking point that eventually prevented the building from being designated an official Historic-Cultural Landmark.  The adjacent Little Tokyo neighborhood has long chafed at the notion of preserving Parker Center, which was built in the 1950s on land claimed from Japanese American businesses and property owners via eminent domain.  Additionally, the building is named for former LAPD Chief William H. Parker, who has been criticized for instituting racist policies that targeted the Latino and African American communities.

The building's replacement is the first phase of an ambitious master plan for the Los Angeles Civic Center, which proposes new government offices, but also the addition of commercial and residential buildings to better activate the area surrounding City Hall.