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Van Nuys City Hall Opens in New Digs

Operations resume for San Fernando Valley residents at the $33-million facility, replacing the one damaged in the 1994 Northridge quake.

May 31, 2003|Karima A. Haynes | Times Staff Writer

Nearly a decade after the 1994 Northridge earthquake damaged Van Nuys City Hall, Los Angeles city departments have resumed operations in a new building on Van Nuys Boulevard.

Earlier this month, city employees moved from temporary trailers and rented offices across the San Fernando Valley into the $33-million facility that is to be dedicated June 23 as the Marvin Braude Constituent Service Center.

The four-story glass-and-stone structure is named for the former councilman who represented the area.

"Marvin was a firm believer in bringing resources to the people of the Valley so that they wouldn't have to go over the hill for services," said Reginald Jones-Sawyer, director of asset management for the city's Department of General Services.

The 142,000-square-foot building will house branch offices of the Building and Safety, Planning, Public Works, Fire, Street Maintenance, Finance and Transportation departments, as well as field offices for Mayor James K. Hahn, City Atty. Rocky Delgadillo and City Councilwoman Ruth Galanter.

About 9,300 square feet of retail space on the street level and a 200-car underground parking garage will be added in the fall, Jones-Sawyer said.

Although construction was to be finished in the summer of 2001, Jones-Sawyer said, work didn't even begin until that time because of financing delays. Once work began, however, the building was completed five months ahead of schedule and $1 million under budget, he said.

A neighborhood city hall is part of Hahn's plan to bring more city services to local communities, officials said.

"The new service center fulfills one of the mayor's goals, which is to shorten the distance between neighborhoods and downtown L.A.," said Doane Liu, deputy mayor of operations.

"If you need to deal with city government, you shouldn't have to go outside your neighborhood," he said.

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