GLENDALE — State officials this week said they were in talks to buy the Jewel City Bowl on South Glendale Avenue to demolish for a parking garage that would serve a new $123.9-million Glendale courthouse on Broadway.
Representatives for the state Administrative Office of the Courts, which is moving forward with plans to build a new 110,000-square-foot courthouse at 600 E. Broadway, said during an environmental review input meeting Wednesday that they also planned to acquire the adjacent Board of Realtors building on Isabel Street for parking.
The administration said the “majority of the site needed for the new courthouse is where the existing courthouse is located,” but officials have pledged to retain as much of the existing courthouse’s mid-century architecture as possible.
“It’s really more of a replacement project and we’re able to limit the number of resource categories that we will be reviewing,” said Laura Sainz, the agency’s environmental program manager.
The new courthouse, which officials say is needed to address security issues and overcrowding, could be as tall as five stories.
Sainz said the agency will try to retain the facility’s historical elements, including the façade, but will demolish the remainder. The agency is soliciting concerns or suggestions that members of the public would want addressed in the project’s Environmental Impact Report, which will review air quality and greenhouse gas emissions, cultural and historical resources and noise.
The report also will list potential impacts if the agency cannot retain the architectural elements due to construction feasibility or seismic features.
The Glendale Historical Society will submit a response for the environmental report urging the agency to maintain the building’s architectural features, President John LoCascio said.
A floating staircase, serpentine brick and glass walls and the building’s Glendale Avenue and Broadway façades are some of the features that the organization will request be preserved.
Officials plan to maintain the number of courtrooms at eight. Two courtrooms have not been used because of budget reductions and security issues, according to the initial project report.
Agency officials plan to move all court functions to the Glendale Police Department and other city buildings, and possibly rent commercial space, during the two-year construction phase, which is slated to start in 2013.
Public comments regarding the proposed courthouse should be submitted to Laura Sainz by July 11. She can be reached by email at Laura.Sainz@jud.ca.gov.
For more information on the proposed project, visit www.courts.ca.gov/2814.htm.