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Santa Monica Lays Groundwork for $114 Million Phase of City Yards Project  

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By Lookout Staff

January 10, 2017 -- The City Council is set to authorize contracts totaling more than $900,000 to prepare for an overhaul of Santa Monica's City Yards, the aging 14.7-acre headquarters for everything from maintenance to training for firefighters.

Three California-based companies are expected to be awarded contracts for surveying and environmental work in a three-phase modernization overhaul, as the City progresses through the early stages of the $114 million designed-related phase of the City Yards Modernization Project.

To continue moving forward, an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) and a detailed site survey are required, a City staff report for the council said.

“The EIR would inform proposed design, as well as future phases that may include construction of a parking structure, expansion of Gandara Park, and construction of additional City facilities, office space and a recycling center,” Susan Cline, director of public works and architecture services, wrote in a report to the council.

Although twice the size of the prized Santa Monica Pier and home base for many of City’s most vital services, City Yards has struggled for decades to keep its 1940’s-era buildings up to date.

The sprawling collection of 16 buildings, near the intersection of 24th Street and Michigan Avenue, has been used for the City’s maintenance operations, storage, traffic operations, recycling, water and wastewater functions, storage of hazardous waste generated by the City and as a Fire Department training area.

City officials say they’ve tried to update parts of City Yards on a piecemeal basis, but that the needs of Santa Monica today outstrip the capabilities of the facilities and that some of the site is not safe for its workers.

The City Yards Master Plan has been updated repeatedly to keep up with changing times they said.

Under the current project, buildings would be more efficient, safe and eco-friendly, and the site would evolve from being an “eyesore,” as officials have acknowledged, to a more inviting environment for both the workers and its neighbors.

City staff recommends the council move forward with a trio of agreements with vendors Tuesday.

Dudek, an environmental consulting services company, would be awarded a contract not to exceed $426,484, while Hahn and Associates would be awarded a contract not to exceed $131,560 for survey services.

An aerial site survey was completed in 2006 but is “no longer an accurate reflection of current site conditions,” Cline said.

A third agreement before the council is with Hathaway Dinwiddie Construction Company (HDCC) to help Arup North America design and develop a proposed microgrid at the City Yards. The contract is not to exceed $372,857.

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