Mayor Backs Plan to Relocate LAPD
Mayor James K. Hahn recommended Tuesday that the Los Angeles Police Department permanently leave the Civic Center and relocate to a remodeled office building on the south side of downtown.
Rejecting another proposal to build a new police station in Little Tokyo just blocks from the department’s current home at Parker Center, the mayor said Tuesday that moving into the Transamerica complex at 12th and Broadway would be less expensive.
For the record:
12:00 AM, Apr. 02, 2004 For The Record
Los Angeles Times Friday April 02, 2004 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 2 National Desk 1 inches; 40 words Type of Material: Correction
Police Commission -- An article in Wednesday’s California section about Los Angeles Mayor James K. Hahn’s proposal to move the police headquarters incorrectly identified Rick Caruso as president of the Board of Police Commissioners. David Cunningham is the board’s president.
Hahn said that plan would also allow for more redevelopment in Little Tokyo, which the mayor said would derive greater benefits from more shops and housing than from another government office building.
“This is a chance I don’t want to miss,” the mayor told a receptive gathering of community members in Little Tokyo on Tuesday afternoon.
Hahn’s proposal adds yet another option to the debate on how to move the department out of its landmark headquarters on Los Angeles Street, a process expected to cost at least $234 million and perhaps more than $400 million.
Parker Center, which was built half a century ago, has been deemed too small and potentially unsafe. Police representatives have been pushing for a new facility for years.
To solve the problem, city leaders appeared to be moving toward a plan for constructing a new facility in Little Tokyo and moving the department temporarily into the Transamerica building. The city is completing the $50.7-million purchase of the 35-year-old building, which is owned in majority by the Canyon-Johnson Urban Fund. The fund is managed by Canyon Capital Realty Advisors and Earvin “Magic” Johnson’s Johnson Development Corporation.
But last month, Ron Deaton, the city’s influential chief legislative analyst, floated another plan, which he said would save the city $29 million: keeping the department in Parker Center while a new facility is built.
Pointing to an analysis by the city engineer, Hahn said his plan to move the police headquarters to the Transamerica complex permanently and scrap the idea of a new facility would save the city $71 million.
According to the analysis, it would cost $234 million to move police headquarters to the Transamerica building and renovate that site. A new headquarters would cost $305 million, the analysis concludes.
The new plan won the support of the president of the Police Commission. “I think it’s a great idea,” Rick Caruso said.
Deaton declined to comment on the plan. A spokeswoman for Councilwoman Cindy Miscikowski, whose committee is set to discuss the relocation of police headquarters Thursday, said she was studying the proposal.
Councilwoman Jan Perry, who represents Little Tokyo and has been working for months on a plan to relocate police headquarters, said Tuesday that she was interested. “It’s an enhancement to the original plan,” Perry said.