City Council Approves $12 Million Increase in Funding for West Hollywood Park Redevelopment

The grand staircase leading into the aquatic and recreation center at the new West Hollywood Park (Illustration by LPA Architects)

The West Hollywood City Council last night approved a $12 million increase in the budget for the renovation of West Hollywood Park, which will bring the total cost of the second stage of the renovation to $113.5 million.

With the inclusion of phase one of the renovation, which included construction of the West Hollywood Library, the City Council Chambers and the five-story parking structure, the city’s overall spending on the eight-acre park is anticipated to be $22.2 million an acre.

City Councilmember Lauren Meister objected to the $2.8 million increase in the city’s contract for construction management services with CBRE Heery Inc. That 56% increase means the city will be paying CBRE Heery a total of $7.8 million. Meister was the only council member to vote “no” on that portion of the overall increase.

The second stage of the renovation was initially anticipated to be completed this year. However, now the final completion is expected in the Spring of 2022.

Mayor John D’Amico suggested that the city consider putting up a barricade around the entire park so that the renovation could move faster. The city initially had decided to leave as much of the park open to residents while construction was underway on specific parts of the redevelopment. However, D’Amico noted, the entire park now is closed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The renovation has drawn criticism from some residents, who have cited expensive aspects such as the $1.75 million “grand stair.”

  1. And in a few weeks…..they will be laying off staff. WH needs a few serious people who don’t only care about parades and pet projects.

  2. This is absolutely ridiculous. The park is beautiful and the library is perfect. They just redid the park not that long ago this doesn’t make any sense what are they laundering money? What other city continually renovates and rebuilds their parks and library? Leave the park and library alone and use that additional $12 million to help fight COVID-19 in the city, give out masks, offer free testing, help local businesses! Build a homeless shelter or an animal shelter do something positive and constructive with the money. It’s time to wake up Weho residence and stop voting for these people that are approving these measures. West Hollywood needs a whole new set of councilmembers because these people are completely detached from reality and are delusional.

  3. While I understand the City Council wanted to make a grand, monumental statement, but the staircase is several tons of reflective concrete that does not seem particularly environmentally friendly. But the plans were done over a period of years so you can’t say that the public did not have input on the project. I just hope that the finished product does not have the same sort of imperfects and expensive defects that we experienced with the City Council Chambers.

  4. Will someone kindly call Mr. Adams at Heery Inc. now CBRE Heery Inc. real estate investment and then some, to determine what his contribution to Weho might be after seemingly lifelong career benefits from the city? Then the oversight budget consulting fee for the Rose Bowl. Being connected is nice and then there are those pesky over budget situations..

    Good thing Councilmember Meister watches the fine print otherwise the dish might have run away with the spoon.

  5. In our original contract cost overruns up to 10% are expected and built in. Council really had no choice, —-to say no means back to the drawing board. Also if you look at the budget the real cost is not the total cost of the project. The cost is the debt service on the bond issued, and with the cost increase the amount of added debt service is marginal.

  6. The lack of oversight and concern is alarming here. Agree with others who praise Councilmember Meister for her guts. How are entities who repeatedly seem to screw up allowed to get more millions (then more millions. then more millions.)?

  7. It’s so easy for a bunch of politicians to sit and say ‘Yes’ to taking and spending other people’s money. But this massive $113.5 Million monolith only costs $3000 per Weho resident. Of course that doesn’t include the annual operating expenses which will also be coming out of someone else’s wallet. Where will those millions come from? Maybe they can sell naming rights!!! Or vote to approve digital billboards on the roof? Wouldn’t it be great if politicians running for office were honest? Like saying “If you vote for me I promise to take $3000 out of your retirement savings so I can build a new swimming pool.”

    1. West Hollywood is not a serious city. Perhaps time to move back under the LA umbrella. How much of this nonsense can we take?

    2. And this was mostly paid for by NON-WeHo residents. i.e., hotel taxes and sales taxes. People visiting the city on weekends. That’s where the “millions come from.” The money is already there. The city is running at a huge surplus.

      If you live in this city, or near it, be grateful that they actually spend money on services that benefit the public. This is just one of many.

      That said, I’m not pleased with the cost overruns, or that we have to wait another two years, which I find ridiculous.

      1. You have your finger in the right place regarding finances. West Hollywood is very fortunate to have huge revenues from hotel tax and parking tickets, paid primarily by outsiders. But as the City’s coffers have filled any attempt at fiscal responsibility seem tedious to most of the City Council members. We are very fortunate to have the funds to be able to do this sort of renovation for West Hollywood Park but we could be allocating a couple million dollars toward providing guaranteed minimum incomes to the many residents who are in need.

        1. Steve, the money grows on outsider’s trees? Government absorption of private disposable income by taxes (and fines) has wide reaching macro-economic effects. I’d suggest you study ‘The General Theory of Employment, Interest, and Money’ by John Maynard Keynes, one of the foundations of modern economic theory, which you can take out of the Weho library. And you can easily get a copy since there are (sadly) only 2 copies in the entire Los Angeles County Library system but not surprisingly both are available. Why are there are so many Weho residents in need of financial support? It’s all explained in the book my friend.

  8. It took 1 year and 45 days to build the Empire State Building.
    They’ve been working 3+ years and now they need 2 more to build a park!?
    And this only accounts for phase II. Where’s the accountability on the timeline?

    1. darn good question. the more i read about this (including the links Vigilant supplied), the more questions i have. where is the accountaibility at all? and why does the city keep going with this same company? and why do we just get the nonsense about “not wanting to change horses” as a reason?

  9. Blimey! Considering the very real possibility that I couldn’t make it all the way up the Grand staircase, I very likely couldn’t afford the Recreation fee to use the pool anyhow. .

    1. You don’t think there will be an elevator? And, yeah, maybe the cost will go up from the normal $2 for WeHo residents to use the pool. Is that unaffordable? I mean, seriously, $2?

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