Upgrades to Los Angeles' Historic Union Station to Create a Dynamic Transit Hub

As Los Angeles ambitiously builds public transit infrastructure, the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority is working on plans to update Union Station so that it will better serve the Los Angeles of the future.
July 2, 2014, 11am PDT | Molly M. Strauss | @mmstrauss
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In 2011, Metro purchased the 40-acre site in Downtown Los Angeles that includes a historic passenger terminal built in 1939 to serve western railroads. An intensive master planning process has been in progress for the property since 2012. With the undertaking nearing completion, Metro's Deputy Executive Officer of Countywide Planning Jenna Hornstock elaborates on recent refinements to the preferred approach--with final plans expected to go before Metro's Board of Directors in September.

Hornstock shares the proposed changes to Union Station as they currently stand, highlighting key transit improvements that include a new multimodal concourse and future integration with high-speed rail. The team has prioritized connectivity and place-making across the site, intending these goals to yield both improved transit functionality and a greater sense of continuity with the surrounding neighborhoods.

Development on the site was viewed through that same lens. Hornstock explains, "We focused on the transit improvements as our building blocks, and from there we identified places for new commercial development that enhances access to transit and connectivity across the site. Whether it’s overbuilding on the relocated bus facility, or thoughtfully integrating development into the site, we looked at creating a place that is connected through plazas, terraces and bridges... With all of this study, we came up with a development program showing 3.25 million square feet of commercial development."

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Published on Monday, June 30, 2014 in The Planning Report
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