Public Safety Building Project

  • Project typeBuildings & Facilities
  • Project value$117,037,811

Project Description

The existing Public Safety Building (PSB) at 275 Forest Avenue opened in 1970 and is approximately 25,000 square feet. Due to the growth of public safety services and changes in regulations, the existing building no longer meets current seismic, accessibility, or regulatory code requirements that are necessary for the Essential Services Buildings Seismic Safety Act (ESBSSA). The new PSB will house the Police Department, 911 Emergency Dispatch Center, the Emergency Operations Center, the Office of Emergency Services, and the administration needs of the Fire Department. The new Public Safety Building is part of the 2014 Council Infrastructure Plan, and will be located at 250 Sherman Avenue, next to the new California Avenue Area Parking Garage. Under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), these are considered as a single project because the garage will mitigate the loss of approximately 310 existing public surface parking spaces on both sites.

Scope of Work

  • Three-story building, 50-foot-high maximum, built over an operational basement and below grade parking for staff
  • Public plaza and main entry on Birch Street
  • Multi-purpose training room and meeting space
  • Secured operations yard with large public safety vehicle parking
  • Public parking available at the new California Avenue Area Parking Garage
  • Future solar panels on California Avenue Area Parking Garage designed to support the PSB

Project Status

Upcoming PSB Construction Activities for July:

  • Continue soil testing and preliminary soil excavation and off-haul.
  • Install perimeter storm drain catch basin and median modifications on Birch Street.
  • Complete installation of temporary power service for construction site and jobsite trailers.
  • Mobilize and install shoring test panel.
  • Install perimeter shoring system starting along Sherman Avenue.
  • Install mural along the construction fence by the Palo Alto Public Art Program.

Upcoming PSB Construction Activities for June:

  • City of Palo Alto Utilities demolition and removal of existing water and sewer systems.
  • Start of soil testing and preliminary soil excavation and off-haul.
  • Installation of jobsite trailers.
  • Start of installation of temporary power at the construction site.
  • Coordination with Gas Main Replacement project (GMR 23) work surrounding construction site, including repaving and striping.
  • Shoring and dewatering design were submitted to the Development Center for approval.
  • Building permit was issued.
  • City hosted a groundbreaking reception with the project design team, construction team, Fire and Police Ddepartments, as well as community members on past advising committees. See recorded Livestream of the Event.

The following construction activities were performed in May 2021:

  • Parking Lot C-6 is closed to the public. Public parking is available across the street at the at the new California Ave Area Parking Garage at 350 Sherman Ave.
  • Swinerton and their subcontractors mobilized on site, and fencing was setup around the construction site.
  • Electrical work is completed on Park Blvd and Jacaranda Ln.
  • The temporary reconfiguration of the County Courthouse parking lot is completed and is open for access.
  • Demolition of existing parking lot is completed.
  • City of Palo Alto WGW demolition and removal of existing water and sewer systems started.

Project Timeline

  • Stage 1 - 2015 to 2016

    • December 2015: City Council accepted the Public Safety Building Site Evaluation Study of California Avenue Parking Lots C-6 and C-7, for Construction of a New Public Safety Building and Public Parking Structure.  Council directed staff to proceed with Design and Environmental Review of the three-story Public Safety Building Meeting Zoning Requirements on Lot C-6, and to proceed with Design and Environmental Review of a New Public Parking Garage on Lot C-7 (ID #6069).
    • 2016:  Design Team and Project Management Team are finalized.

     

  • Stage 2 - 2017 to 2018

    • Design of the California Avenue Area Parking Garage begins.
    • Draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR) of the Public Safety Building and California Avenue Area Parking Garage begins.
    • October 2017: Architectural Review Board Meeting for the Public Safety Building and California Avenue Area Parking Garage projects.
    • January 2018: Final Draft Environmental Impact Report is completed.
    • January 2018: Architectural Review Board reviews the California Avenue Area Parking Garage design and moves ahead separately from the Public Safety Building design.
    • June 2018: Final EIR – Notice of Determination
    • August 2018: Architectural Review Board Meeting for the Public Safety Building 
    • September 2018: Architectural Review Board Meeting for the Public Safety Building 
    • October 2018: Architectural Review Board Subcommittee Meeting for the Public Safety Building
    • December 2018: Council approved and authorized a construction contract for the New California Avenue Area Parking Garage.
  • Stage 3 – 2019 to 2020

    • January 2019: California Avenue Area Parking Garage construction begins
    • July 2019: Public Safety Building Design approved by the Architectural Review Board with items for subcommittee review
    • July 2019: Architectural Review Board Subcommittee Meeting for the Public Safety Building
    • December 2019: Architectural Review Board Subcommittee Meeting for the Public Safety Building
    • February 2020: City conducts contractor pre-qualification for the Public Safety Building
    • June 2020: City conducts a second contractor pre-qualification for the Public Safety Building
    • September 2020: The Public Safety Building project goes out to bid to the pre-qualified contractors.
    • December 2020:  Bids received in November were rejected. The Public Safety Building project is re-bid to the pre-qualified contractors.
    • The California Avenue Area Parking Garage opens to the public on December 8, 2020.
  • Stage 4 –2021

    • January 2021: The Public Safety Building bids were received.
    • February 2021:  City Council awards the construction contract for the Public Safety Building to Swinerton Builders.
    • March 2021: The Public Safety Building construction begins. 
    • May 2021: Parking Lot C-6 and Sherman Ave between Park Boulevard and Birch Street are closed to the public. Map of Available Parking in the Area
    • June 2021: The City hosts a groundbreaking reception to celebrate the construction of the Public Safety Building. Livestream of the event

Tree Mitigation

The landscape plans for the new California Avenue Parking Garage and Public Safety Building projects include planting new trees around the buildings and new trees off-site at vacant locations. The landscape plans are aligned with Urban Forestry’s requirements to replace tree canopy.

View the FAQs for the removal of trees

Related Documents

Tree Mitigation - California Avenue Parking Garage Project(PDF, 404KB)
Biological Resources(PDF, 468KB)
Tree Survey Report(PDF, 4MB)

Upcoming Meetings

There are no upcoming meetings. Please check back for updates.

Previous Meetings

2021

June 2 - Groundbreaking Reception
The City hosted a groundbreaking reception with the project design team, construction team, Fire and Police departments, and community members on past advising committees.

February 1 – City Council Meeting
Staff recommended the approval of the Public Safety Building project to Swinerton Builders.

2020

April 13 – City Council Meeting
Council approved a finding that the Public Safety Building project is “substantially complex” under Public Contract Code 7201.

2019

December 5 - Architectural Review Board Subcommittee Meeting
The ARB Subcommittee reviewed the Public Safety Building communication tower design, which was a condition for approval of the project in September 2019.

January 18 - Project Walk-Through
City staff hosted a walk-through of the project site. This was an opportunity for the public to learn more about the project, the upcoming tree removals, and the City’s broader commitment to Palo Alto’s urban forest. 

2018

December 20 - Public Art Commission
City Staff recommended the approval of public artwork for the Public Safety Building. View artist Peter Wegner’s presentation to the Public Art Commission (PAC) in December for his concepts at the PSB site. The PAC enthusiastically approved the concepts. 

December 6 - Informational Community Meeting on Public Art
The public joined Public Art staff and artist Peter Wegner to learn about the proposed public art concepts. Wegner discussed concepts for the site developed from previous stakeholder and community input. Participants had the opportunity to ask questions and leave comments. 

November 5 - City Council Meeting
Staff recommended that Council approve an Architectural Review application for a new public safety building  and related facilities. The application includes modifications to development standards related to setbacks and height, and adopts an associated Record of Land Use Action.

September 20 - Architectural Review Board Meeting
The Public Safety Building project was presented to ARB on Thursday, September 20. The meeting focused on landscape, building materials, and proposed signage locations.

September 17 - City Council Study Session on the Public Safety Building Design and Project Status
The Public Safety Building project status was presented to City Council on Monday, September 17.

September 12 - Community Meeting
The City of Palo Alto hosted a Community Meeting for the new Public Safety Building and Parking Garage.

August 2 - Architectural Review Board Meeting
The Public Safety Building project was presented at the August 2 ARB meeting.

June 18 – Public Safety Building Art Input Meeting with Artist Peter Wegner
Public Safety Building artist Peter Wegner received input to help acquaint him with the vibrant California Avenue community to help him with the design development.

Project Documents

Public Safety Building and California Avenue Parking Garage Environmental Impact Report

California Avenue Area Parking

Due to construction of the Public Safety Building, Lot C-6 will be closed for public parking. Parking can be found at the new California Avenue Area Parking Garage located at 350 Sherman Ave. Entrance to the garage is located on Sherman Ave. Other public parking lots are available for parking in the California Avenue business district.

Location

250 Sherman Avenue, Palo Alto, CA 94306  View Map

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