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MWD Will Keep Its Headquarters in L.A. : Offices: Instead of transplanting its entire operation, the district will build a technical center on an 80-acre site in La Verne.

May 23, 1991|MIKE WARD | TIMES STAFF WRITER

The Metropolitan Water District, which has been seeking additional office space, has decided to retain its headquarters in downtown Los Angeles and build a major technical center on an 80-acre site in La Verne.

Michael McGuire, assistant general manager, said the technical center will have 300,000 to 400,000 square feet of building space and employ several hundred workers. The center could be completed as early as 1995 or 1996. Employment will reach 700 by the year 2010, he said.

McGuire said environmental studies have begun on the site, which lies north of Brackett Field between Puddingstone Drive and Arrow Highway.

In addition, La Verne has begun a fiscal analysis to determine how the costs of providing municipal services will compare to benefits. City Manager Martin R. Lomeli said there will be no tax revenue since MWD is a government agency but that there will be indirect benefits from economic growth spurred by the additional jobs.

McGuire said MWD has outgrown its offices on Sunset Boulevard in downtown Los Angeles. No decision has been made on whether to renovate that building or sell it and acquire new office space, McGuire said, but the MWD board decided that headquarters should remain downtown, rejecting the option of moving the entire operation to La Verne.

The Metropolitan Water District, which imports water from the Colorado River and Northern California for six Southland counties, has operated a major water filtration plant in La Verne since 1941.

Lomeli said the 80-acre site was acquired years ago by MWD as a dumping ground for brine from its water treatment plant. He said the site, which adjoins an industrial park, is vacant.

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