WEST HOLLYWOOD — The city will conduct a grand opening ceremony marking the completion of the automated garage and community plaza at City Hall, 8300 Santa Monica Blvd., from 5 to 8 p.m. May 24.
The ceremony will feature comments from members of the City Council and representatives from the design and construction firms who worked on the project will be in attendance. Refreshments will be served and there will be a music mix by Derek Monteiro.
The celebration will include hosted tours of the garage exterior with those in attendance entering the parking bays to view artist murals located within them. To ensure a safe environment, event parking will be available at the Kings Road Municipal Parking Structure, 8383 Santa Monica Blvd., two blocks west of City Hall.
“We’re very excited about the completion of the automated garage,” Mayor Lauren Meister said. “The garage is located in an area of the city that has been in need of additional parking, and this garage will help to fill that need.
“The technology is amazing — and kind of fun, too,” Meister added. “I drove in facing one way, but my car came out facing the other way. … How does it know?”
The parking garage provides an innovative solution to the challenge of creating sufficient parking. The garage requires a much smaller physical footprint than would a conventional parking structure with a similar capacity. The space savings nets more than 7,000 square feet for a community plaza and an entry service area that will be used for community events.
The city broke ground on the project in March 2014. It includes a 200-space parking garage that matches the height of the city’s three-story City Hall building.
There is less tailpipe pollution than a conventional garage, a city spokesperson said. With no idling or circling or searching for available spots, the predicted reduction in carbon dioxide emissions for the project is equal to taking 92 cars off of the road each year or planting 67,000 trees.
The garage contains four bays for entry and exit. Each bay features a hand-painted mural. The garage features a large glass pane facing east toward Sweetzer Avenue where people can watch as mechanical shuttles carry vehicles in and out of bays.
The window includes a fixed-art installation by public artist Ned Kahn, with a grid of large clear marbles that reflect moving parts inside the garage. The structure also contains roof-mounted photovoltaic solar panels, features the use of a sustainable material made from recycled grocery bags, and uses drought-tolerant landscaping.
The community plaza is a park-like space with trees, built-in benches and a water feature. It contains a stage for community events, concerts, readings and more. The plaza holds a large-scale triptych art-banner installation.
The automated garage was designed by LPA Inc., a sustainable design architecture firm, which has completed numerous award-winning public and private buildings throughout Southern California.
The mechanical system that stores and retrieves vehicles was designed by Unitronics, an international leader in automated parking systems.
The structure was built by T.B. Penick & Sons, a San Diego-based contractor that has built numerous parking structures and private and municipal buildings around Southern California.