Public Safety Building Project

  • Project typeBuildings & Facilities
  • Project value$118,000,000
Public Safety Building View of Entry from Sherman and Birch

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 required to meet 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. The new PSB will be located at 250 Sherman Avenue, next to the new California Avenue Area Parking Garage at 350 Sherman Avenue. Under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), these are considered as a single project because the garage will mitigate for the loss of approximately 310 existing public surface parking spaces on both sites.
Construction on the Public Safety Building (PSB) is scheduled to start in March 2021. 

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
  • Public community room 
  • 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: 

  • Parking Lot C-6 is expected to close to the public in late March 2021.
  • Electrical work will occur in Jacaranda Ln, Park Blvd, and Sherman Ave starting in mid-March to relocate service from transformer on Lot C-6. Traffic control will be in place.
  • Temporary reconfiguration of the County Courthouse parking lot and construction trailer set up is expected to begin in mid-March 2021.
  • City will begin work on the Gas Main Replacement (GMR) Project 23 starting March 8 on Ash St, Grant Ave, and Park Blvd. GMR 23 work will be coordinated with PSB construction activities. 
  • Sherman Ave between Park Blvd and Birch St is expected to close following the County Courthouse parking lot reconfiguration work.

March 2021
The contractor will begin mobilization activities and site utility work.  Construction fence set up will begin on a portion of the County Courthouse parking lot for construction trailers. Traffic control will be in place for site utility work.

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 and directed staff to proceed with Design and Environmental Review of a 3-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 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 completed.
    • January 2018: Architectural Review Board reviews for the California Avenue Area Parking Garage design moves ahead separately from the Public Safety Building design
    • June 2018: Final Environmental Impact Report – 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 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. 

     

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)

What’s Coming Up Next?

  • Parking Lot C-6 is expected to close to the public in March
  • Contractor mobilization is expected to begin in March
  • Sherman Ave between Park Blvd and Birch Street is expected to close in March 
  • Temporary reconfiguration of the County Courthouse parking lot is expected to begin in February

Upcoming Meetings

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

Previous Meetings

2019

December 5, 2019 - Architectural Review Board Subcommittee Meeting
The ARB Subcommittee reviewed the Public Safety Building communication tower design, which was a condition of 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 that includes modifications to development standards related to setbacks and height and adopt 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

Location

250 Sherman Avenue, Palo Alto, CA 94306  View Map

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