From article by Sam Lubell at ArchPaper.com:
"The area is LA's transportation hub, containing three subway lines as well as Amtrak and Metrolink stations and several bus lines. And it is set to augment that role in the future with the addition of METRO's Regional Connector and California High Speed Rail.
Specifics like building height limits as well as calls for mixed-use and transit oriented development, including commercial, retail, entertainment, housing, and eventually a new High Speed Rail terminal, will be dictated to some extent by the existing Alameda District Specific Plan, which was passed in 1996. The agency's goals for the project, according to a document it posted on its site today, include accommodating future transit needs, creating "an iconic place of extraordinary design," improving connectivity to the city around the station, and maximizing the value of METRO's investment in the project."
"The Vision Plan that METRO is requiring short listed teams to produce for the area will be an "unconstrained" and "imaginative vision of Union Station" consisting of visual perspectives and site plans that will be presented publicly. The goal, said Calvin Hollis, Executive Officer of Countywide Planning & Development at METRO, is to create some excitement about the property and get the community excited. The Vision Plans will hold no weight in the selection of a winning team."
A number of architects, planners, and engineers are calling the vision plans a "waste of time" because they will not be used to determine the winner of the future project.