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Metro invites public to help shape future of Union Station at 'master plan' meeting

By Hayley Fox
Published: Monday, November 26, 2012, at 10:57AM
Courtesy of Metro

Union Station will be overhauled with a new master plan that envisions what the transit hub will look like by 2050.

As Metro works to develop a "master plan" for the future of Downtown's Union Station, they're inviting the public to share their questions and comments at a meeting that will be held on December 4 at Metro Headquarters.

According to the Source, the meeting is meant to "discuss the work that has been done in the past few months — and the work soon to be done."

"Union Station is a beloved Los Angeles icon that has played a vital role in our city's history," said Mayor Villaraigosa in a statement earlier this year. "Now it is time to get ready for its future as the centerpiece of our burgeoning regional transit system."

Metro purchased the historic transit hub for $75 million last year and since then, they've chosen an architectural firm to help them develop a plan to transform Union Station into a "premier destination" for travelers and residents. These long-term blueprints will address 40-acres of property that include the station and its surrounding area -- in addition to six million square feet of additional space that is already permitted for development.

Metro plans to increase accessibility to the more than 70-year-old station from surrounding neighborhoods, and prepare the transit hub for a possible future high speed rail. Officials say they're also working to improve passengers' overall experience at the station -- including better signage and easier access for pedestrians and cyclists.

"This property is crucial to establishing connectivity to the many residents, businesses, and assets of the surrounding communities in all directions," said councilman José Huizar, who emphasized that the City and Metro will be working with these neighborhoods and doing outreach in these areas as they develop the master plan.

In June, Metro selected Gruen Associates and Grimshaw Architects to be the project's lead designers and consultants. The team was given a contract that can't exceed $4.15 million to help determine what the station should look like by 2050.

Gruen, an L.A.-based company, has worked with Metro and other agencies throughout SoCal before, including on projects such as the Expo Line and the Gold Line. Grimshaw has offices all over the world including London, New York and Amsterdam and have helped develop multiple rail stations as well as transit hubs.

For people unable to attend next Tuesday's meeting, Metro says they will be streaming it live online and encourage people to comment via Facebook, Twitter or email. The master plan is expected to be completed by the summer of 2014.

The Union Station meeting takes place Tuesday, Dec. 4 from 6:30pm to 8:30pm at the Metro Headquarters Building

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