Gov. Pete Wilson signed legislation Tuesday that will pave the way for a major consolidation of state operations expected to include the transfer of 2,000 state workers in the Los Angeles area to a few Downtown buildings.
Wilson said the plan would save the state more than $100 million a year in real estate costs and create more than 50,000 design and construction jobs as the state embarks on a multiyear program to build offices and phase out many of its leased quarters.
The Republican governor signed the legislation at a construction site a block from the Capitol, where a new state-owned building will replace five different leased offices of the secretary of state.
Wilson also announced completion of the first inventory of all state property and the start of a master plan that will lead to 20-year projections of the state’s real estate needs.
“For years now, the management--so-called--of our real estate has been largely unplanned and uncoordinated,” Wilson said.
With each state agency managing its own property, the governor said, the government now has 2,400 lease agreements, and rental costs are doubling every five years.
Wilson acknowledged that the consolidation will leave many privately owned buildings vacant at a time when the commercial real estate market is in a deep slump. But he said his primary focus is to save state taxpayers money.
The plan calls for consolidation of space in Los Angeles, the Inland Empire, Sacramento and the San Francisco Bay Area. Later, plans will be drawn up for Orange County, San Diego, San Jose and the Central Valley.
In Los Angeles, the regional plan will reduce space demands by 21% by consolidating operations Downtown and at commercial centers in East Los Angeles, South-Central, Long Beach, the San Fernando Valley and the Westside.
The Downtown plan calls for creation of a long-term consolidated state complex linking the Ronald Reagan State Office Building and the Metro Rail station at 4th and Hill streets.
The 750,000-square-foot office complex would include historic buildings and some new buildings in a six-block area bounded by 3rd, 5th, Main and Hill streets.
About 2,000 employees--mostly administrators who have little contact with the public--will move to the complex from offices scattered throughout the Los Angeles area. Offices that provide public services will remain dispersed but may eventually be grouped in regional office centers.
A state office building now at 1st and Broadway will be demolished.