Public Safety Building and California Avenue Parking Garage Project

 Public Safety Building  California Parking Garage
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 and California Avenue Parking Garage are both part of the 2014 Council Infrastructure Plan. The new PSB will be located at 250 Sherman Avenue, and the new public parking garage will be located 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. The garage will be constructed before the PSB. PSB construction will begin once the garage is operational. 

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.

The California Avenue Parking Garage project started construction in January 2019.

The City intends to complete the California Avenue Parking Garage prior to construction of the Public Safety Building. The Parking Garage construction is estimated to be completed in early 2020. The Public Safety Building construction is estimated to be completed in fall 2021.

Related Documents

Public Safety Building Rendering
    Public Safety Building Rendering
California Avenue Parking Garage rendering
 California Avenue Parking Garage rendering
Scope of Work
   Public Safety Building Concept Summary:
  • A three-story 50’ high maximum Public Safety Building over an operational basement and associated below grade parking for staff.  Parking for large public safety vehicles is provided in the secured operations yard. Public parking for the PSB is located in the California Avenue Parking Garage.
  • The PSB main entrance is located on Birch Street with a public plaza in front.
California Avenue Parking Garage Concept Summary:
  • The proposed parking structure is four levels above grade and two levels below grade. The parking structure will provide approximately 636 parking spaces.
  • A photovoltaic (PV) system on the roof deck is also planned.
Upcoming Meetings

There are currently no meetings scheduled.

Previous Meetings

Friday, January 18 - Project Walk-Through
City staff will 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. 


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 10 - City Council Meeting

Council approved and authorized a construction contract for the New California Avenue Area Parking Garage, in addition to other agreements related to the project. The staff report is available to the public. 


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 18th - PSB 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 Status

Design and Construction timeline

Design and Construction timeline

Beginning Monday, April 22, Parking Lot C-7, located between Jacaranda Lane and Sherman Avenue, at the intersection of Birch and Ash, will be closed for garage construction to get underway. View this map external link icon of the 2-hour public parking available during construction.

Public Parking Map for the Cal Ave Business District area.


Project Documents
""  Cal. Ave Parking Garage Project Update - February 2019
  Cal. Ave Parking Garage Project Update - January 2019
  Final Environmental Impact Report (9 MB)
  November 5, 2018 City Council Meeting Staff Report ID #9685
  September 2018 Council Meeting PSB Status Update Presentation
  September 2018 Community Meeting Presentation
  Final Traffic Impact Analysis (11 MB)
  Draft Environmental Impact Report (20 MB)
March 2017 Community Meeting Documents
December 2016 City Council Meeting Staff Report ID #7417
December 2015 City Council Meeting Presentation
December 2015 City Council Meeting Staff Report ID #6069
November 2015 Community Meeting Presentation
November 2015 Community Meeting Presentation Handout
May 2015 Study Session Staff Report ID #5483
Architectural Review Board Documents
 "" September 20, 2018 - PSB Architectural Review Board Submittal Plans
  August 2, 2018 - PSB Architectural Review Board Project Description
  August 2, 2018 - PSB Architectural Review Board Submittal Plans (35 MB)
  March 2018 Cal. Ave Parking Garage Architectural Review Board Submittal Plans
December 2017 Cal. Ave Parking Garage Architectural Review Board Submittal Plans
October 2017 Architectural Review Board Submittal Plans
June 2017 Preliminary Architectural Review Board Presentation
Planning Review Documents
""  Notice of Preparation (NOP) of Environmental Impact Report 
Project Description and Initial Study Checklist
Tree Survey Report
Phase 1 Environmental Site Assessment
Geotechnical Investigation Report
Draft Transportation Impact Analysis
Contact Information
   Public Works Engineering Services Division  
   Project Manager: Matt Raschke,  

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Public Safety Building

California Avenue Garage

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