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Council Eyes Scaled-Down Transit Center : Transportation: Officials lean toward cutting the cost of railroad depot project by $1 million. The new proposal would reduce parking space for cars and buses.

December 12, 1991|MARTHA L. WILLMAN | TIMES STAFF WRITER

A plan to pare $1 million from the cost of a proposed major transportation center in Glendale got an informal nod from city officials Tuesday.

Without taking a vote, City Council members said they prefer a cheaper alternative plan for the multilevel parking structure and bus station at the historic Southern Pacific Railroad depot, now an Amtrak station. The city plans to convert the depot, in the southwestern tip of Glendale, into a regional transportation center.

Consultants told city officials last month that the center could cost more than $33 million by the time it is completed in the year 2000. The most expensive part would be construction of a parking garage for 1,500 vehicles and 15 buses.

The proposal called for the garage to be built in two phases. The first phase would provide parking for 730 vehicles and would include the bus bays at an estimated cost of $9.2 million. But council members on Tuesday said they preferred a scaled-down first phase with seven bus bays to be built outside the garage, cutting the cost to $8.1 million.

Initial costs could be trimmed another $1.2 million by eliminating one level of the proposed five-level garage, which would reduce the number of parking spaces to 582, said consultant Jonathan C. Stevens of Stevens/Garland Associates of Orange. No decision was made on that suggestion.

The garage is planned for a site northeast of the 66-year-old Southern Pacific Railroad depot at 400 W. Cerritos Ave., which the city bought in 1989 as a proposed hub for rail and commuter traffic.

The parking structure and bus bays would be built along the railroad tracks, between Central and El Bonito avenues, and ending at Gardena Avenue on the east. The garage could later be expanded by adding additional levels and extending it across Gardena, Stevens said.

Council members rejected an alternative that proposed building the garage across El Bonito, closer to the depot, because, they said, it would mar the look of the historic station, noted for its Spanish-Colonial Revival architecture.

Consultants said they expect to provide revised preliminary plans in about a month.

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