WeHo Celebrates Opening of Automated Parking Garage

Cutting the ribbon, from left to right City Manager Paul Arevalo, Public Works Director Oscar Delgado, city council members John Duran and John Heilman, Mayor Lauren Meister and city council members Lindsey Horvath and John D'Amico.
Cutting the ribbon, from left to right City Manager Paul Arevalo, Public Works Director Oscar Delgado, city council members John Duran and John Heilman, Councilmember  Lindsey Horvath,  Mayor Lauren Meister and Councilmember John D’Amico. (Photo by Jon Viscott, courtesy City of West Hollywood)

West Hollywood celebrated yesterday the completion of construction of the first municipal fully automated parking garage on the West Coast.

The garage, with 200 parking spaces, sits behind City Hall on a lot that once provided 66 spaces. In addition to the parking it provides two community plazas that can be used for public events.

City employees will begin using the garage on June 1. It will be available to the general public on June 24. The garage will add significant additional public parking to the Center City area, which has seen a boom in nightlife in recent years.

Yesterday’s opening ceremony was attended by members of the City Council, city employees and local residents who got a look at how the automated garage works. A driver approaches one of four garage doors on the south side of the building, which is on Sweetzer Avenue. The door automatically opens, and the car goes in. At that point it is pivoted automatically on a revolving platform and taken in an elevator upstairs to a floor where a space is available. The car then is automatically moved to that space, where it is left until the driver returns.

The system is environmentally friendly. Since the cars are non-operational during the parking and retrieval process, the reduction in carbon dioxide emissions equates to removing 92 cars from the road each year or the planting of 67,000 trees.

The garage was designed by LPA Inc., one of the California’s largest integrated sustainable design firms. The automated system was constructed by Unitronics, an Israeli company known for its automated parking systems. The project, whose cost is about $18 million, was funded by a $20 million bond issue. Money from that bond issue also was used for repairs to Sweetzer Avenue and for renovations of the Werle Building on Robertson Boulevard at El Tovar Place.

Additional parking spaces are only one of the structure’s benefits.

“The West Hollywood parking structure is much more than just a parking solution. The focus was really more about urban place-making through creating additional community open space, strengthening the viability of local business, incorporation of public art and engendering local residents,” said Rick D’Amato, principal and design director at LPA. “The efficiency of the AVRS (automated vehicle recovery system) system allowed the resolution of multiple community issues and accommodated a more thoughtful integration of these resolutions within the existing fabric of the downtown environment.”

The shell surrounding the parking structure is designed with environmentally friendly materials such as composite wood panels made primarily from recycled plastic grocery bags. The structure also includes roof-mounted photovoltaic solar panels and uses drought-tolerant landscaping.

The parking structure also integrates public art directly into its architectural design.

A Unitronics employee shows local residents how the automated garage works (Photo by Jon Viscott, courtesy of the City of West Hollywood)
A Unitronics employee shows local residents how the automated garage works (Photo by Jon Viscott, courtesy of the City of West Hollywood)
Art on the north side of the automated garage. WeHo City Hall is across the plaza on the right. (Photo by Jon Viscott, courtesy of the City of West Hollywood).
Art on the north side of the automated garage. WeHo City Hall is across the plaza on the right. (Photo by Jon Viscott, courtesy of the City of West Hollywood).
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Very Concerned Citizen
Very Concerned Citizen
4 years ago

By the way….did any one notice the NOISE coming from the HVAC equipment on the “plaza” side? L O U D, very LOUD!

Tom Smart
Tom Smart
4 years ago

If there’s a testimonial from Oscar Delgado on Unitronics website, that smacks of collusion and is most inappropriate from a city official especially considering the money pit hasn’t even opened yet. What exactly is there to glow about Mister Delgado????

Manny
Manny
4 years ago

David Reid–Nobody said it was the first Robo Garage in LA county. (FYI)

If you read the above Wehoville article, it says…..”the first MUNICIPAL fully automated parking garage”.

Municipal=City

UCLA Surgery Center=Not a City

But yes, time will tell…..Give it some time, you may be pleasantly surprised.

Inquiring Minds
Inquiring Minds
4 years ago

Check out the Unitronics web site to find a glowing testimonial from Oscar Delgado posted last year. It would be good to know who came up with the original idea for the Robo Garage, what the expressed needs were, who started the ball rolling and who the applicants were other than Unitronics C

David Reid
4 years ago

It’s not always about you Manny. Exactly 3 years old. the post was to point out merely it is not the 1st robogarage in LA county. Time will tell if the 18 million was petty (cash) or a white elephant.

Manny
Manny
4 years ago

The link above from a THREE year OLD Curbed Los Angeles article…..lol.

The petty negativity is amusing.

I’ll check in later for more. :-/

Rudolf Martin
Rudolf Martin
4 years ago

Sorry but I would expect that substantial cost overruns, reduction in features and delays as have occurred here would at least be mentioned as part of the whole picture in an article like this. Otherwise it’s just fluff.

mike dunn
4 years ago

The first automated self parking garage on the west coast. I don’t think so. When i worked in Downtown L.A. in 1967 I used to park in a automated parking structure. Yes, it was not computerized and was perhaps primative by todays standards but it existed.

David Reid
4 years ago

Why this will not be open for the Parade demands explanation. Why the hoopla yesterday to open if it actually isn’t open? They have been testing it for weeks it was announced on councilmembers facebook posts. Why not on Pride weekend? 200 spaces vacant. 18 million dollars is chump change to a City that’s about to drop 94 MILLION on 9 acres of land in yet another remodel/remake of the West Hollywood Park. “auto” autos – driverless cars — will be common within ten years and they will be parking themselves. The existing structure on Kings Road across from Hugo’s… Read more »

Art
4 years ago

There was a “Grand Opening” for something that won’t be avilable for a month. (I don’t think they understand what “Grand Opening” means.)

Manny
Manny
4 years ago

Alison–

(A) Bonds are a standard way to fund municipal projects. Nothing special, unusual or strange about it.

(B) Yes, it will be free to park during the day as it was before.

(C) The entry bays create ZERO noise when they open and close.

(D) Bamboo is the WORST (next to ficus) thing to plant anywhere.