Los Angeles County, New Glendale Courthouse

Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles

Funded by Senate Bill 1407
Initial Funding Year: FY 2009-2010

Current Status
Because of significant, ongoing cuts to the judicial branch budget, this project is indefinitely delayed, based on the Judicial Council's October 26, 2012 decision.

Vital Statistics
Courtrooms: 8
Square footage: 99,552
Current authorized project budget: $126,675,000 
More information

In anticipation of additional cost-cutting measures, all facts are subject to change

The Superior Court of Los Angeles County serves residents of Glendale and ten other North Central communities at the Glendale Courthouse. This facility, constructed in 1953, is significantly undersized and has numerous security problems. It also has physical and functional problems as well as numerous deficiencies in accessibility under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). As such, the building prevents the court from providing safe and efficient services in the Glendale area.

Space limitations prevent the court from providing essential services on-site. For example, this courthouse lacks adequate jury assembly space, so the court must assemble jurors at the Burbank courthouse six miles away. The building also has no self-help center, with the nearest one more than 15 miles away. The building also lacks public parking.

The proposed project would replace the current facility with a modern, secure courthouse for criminal, small claims, and limited civil proceedings. It would enable the court to provide basic services currently unavailable due to space restrictions: a self-help center; a jury assembly room; appropriately sized courtroom waiting areas and jury deliberation rooms; appropriately sized public counter queuing areas; adequately sized in-custody holding; attorney interview/witness waiting rooms; and a children's waiting room.

The project includes a parking structure for 240 cars for court users to enhance public access to court services in the urban Glendale area.

Indefinitely Delayed

Because of significant cuts to the judicial branch budget, this project is indefinitely delayed, based on the Judicial Council's October 26, 2012 decision.

California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) Compliance

Because this project is indefinitely delayed, no further environmental work is proceeding. The following information is for historical purposes.

Between April 3, 2012, and May 17, 2012, the public was invited to review and comment on revisions to certain sections of the AOC's draft environmental impact report (EIR) for this project. Specifically, the recirculated sections include revisions to Chapter 4.3, Cultural Resources, Chapter 6, Alternatives to the Proposed Project, the new technical memo prepared by ZGF Architects (Appendix C3), and a Draft EIR Errata. The EIR is a necessary step in this project's compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).

The proposed project involves a new, five-story (maximum) courthouse with a basement, on the site of the existing courthouse at 600 East Broadway in Glendale. A small site behind the existing courthouse at 124 South Isabel Street will also be acquired for related parking. The Jewel City Bowl site, located at 135 South Glendale Avenue, is no longer being considered for acquisition. The proposed project includes demolition of much of the existing building, the existing annex, and sally port, while attempting to preserve historical elements of the building.

Notice of Availability of a Draft Environmental Impact Report (Recirculated Sections)
Recirculated Sections of Draft Environmental Impact Report
Appendix C3: Site Feasibility Report: November 2011
Appendix C3: Existing Courthouse Feasibility Report: March 2012

Previous Draft Environmental Impact Report: August 2011

Architecture/Engineering Firm

Zimmer Gunsul Frasca Architects

Construction Manager at Risk

To be selected, schedule TBD

Subcontractor Bidding

Schedule TBD

April 2012 update

What is the impact of the state’s current budget crisis on this project?

The state Budget Act for fiscal year 2011–2012 contained unprecedented cuts to the judicial branch budget in general and to the account that funds SB 1407 projects in particular. Taking account of the state’s continuing fiscal crisis, in April 2012 the Judicial Council approved cost-reduction measures affecting all projects funded by SB 1407. News release.

As a result, this project is being reassessed to determine whether the plan includes the appropriate number of courtrooms. Number of courtrooms is a primary driver of the size of a courthouse. The reassessment also will also evaluate renovation options and lower-cost construction methods, with the goal of significantly reducing the project’s hard construction costs where that does not jeopardize the building’s safety, security, building performance, or court operations. At this time, the timeline for reassessment is not known, so the impact on the project’s overall schedule remains to be seen. Until the state Legislature resolves the budget for the coming fiscal year, any future impact on funding the next phases of this project is unknown. This web page will be updated with any changes.


July 2011

Why is a new courthouse needed?

The Superior Court of Los Angeles County serves residents of Glendale and ten other North Central communities at the Glendale Courthouse. This facility, constructed in 1953, is significantly undersized and has numerous security problems. It also has physical and functional problems as well as numerous deficiencies in accessibility under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). As such, the building prevents the court from providing safe and efficient services in the Glendale area. Space limitations prevent the court from providing essential services on-site. For example, this courthouse lacks adequate jury assembly space, so the court must assemble jurors at the Burbank courthouse six miles away. The building also has no self-help center, with the nearest one more than 15 miles away. The building also lacks public parking.

The proposed project would replace the current facility with a modern, secure courthouse of eight courtrooms for criminal, small claims, and limited civil proceedings. It would enable the court to provide basic services currently unavailable due to space restrictions: a self-help center; a jury assembly room; appropriately sized courtroom waiting areas and jury deliberation rooms; appropriately sized public counter queuing areas; adequately sized in-custody holding; attorney interview/witness waiting rooms; and a children's waiting room.

Who owns the existing courthouse?

In 2002, the Trial Court Facilities Act made the state responsible for court facilities statewide, and the state now holds title to the existing building.

Who is the AOC and why are they managing this project?

The Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) is the staff arm of the Judicial Council of California. The Judicial Council is the policymaking body for the California court system, including the trial courts, known as “Superior Courts,” based in each county. Among other responsibilities, the AOC is primarily responsible for planning, acquisition, design, and construction of court facilities.

What is the timeline for the project?

The project is currently in the site acquisition phase. It was originally authorized in December 2009, with a five-year schedule, with completion originally planned for 2015. However, this timeline may change.

What delays may this project face?

The AOC and the County of Los Angeles have been working toward a joint agreement that would enable the County to co-locate certain of its court-related functions in this facility and several other courthouse projects the AOC is undertaking in Los Angeles. The agreement would involve a cost-sharing arrangement between the County and the State.  The agreement will affect the overall space plan for this courthouse and others affected, so once negotiations are finalized, the AOC will need to submit a new scope, budget, and schedule for each project for review by the state legislative and executive branches. This process is likely to lengthen the overall timeline for this project, but the AOC believes the arrangement will ultimately benefit both the County and the public served by these courthouses. Out of the 110,000 square feet, approximately 10,000 square feet would be used by the county of Los Angeles.

How big will the new courthouse be?

The courthouse will be up to five stories, with a total size of up to 110,000 square feet. The project also includes a parking structure for up to 267 cars.

What is the current status of site planning?

The current proposal is to locate the new courthouse on the site of the existing building to maintain the site’s historic use as a courthouse, adjacent to City Hall and the Glendale Police Department. The project team also has a goal to meaningfully incorporate elements of the 1959 courthouse building into the newly expanded courthouse so that significant architectural characteristics of the current building are highlighted and built into the project.  The project will require demolition of the majority of the existing building. While the new courthouse is under construction, court functions would be relocated temporarily to nearby police and municipal facilities or to alternate rented space. The majority of the land is already owned by the judicial branch. A small site behind the existing courthouse at 124 South Isabel Street, currently owned by the Board of Realtors, would also be acquired for parking. The Jewel City Bowl site, located at 134 S. Glendale Ave. is also being considered for acquisition.

How will environmental reviews be conducted? Who will be the lead agency for CEQA?

The AOC is the lead agency for environmental review under California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). To ensure the most comprehensive review of the project's environmental effects, the AOC is preparing a full environmental impact report (EIR).

What is the timeline for the CEQA process?

The AOC issued its notice of preparation on June 10, 2011; a public meeting was held June 22, 2011, and comments were due August 15, 2011. The draft EIR was published for public review and comment in August 2011 for a 45-day period, with comments due by October 6, 2011. Another public meeting will be held September 14, 2011 to ensure that the community has an opportunity to submit comments. The AOC expects to complete the CEQA process by December 31, 2011.  Information regarding the CEQA process, including notices of upcoming public meetings can be found on this page under the “Background” tab.

Is it true the project will close Jewel City Bowl for space to build a parking garage?

At this point, it is uncertain whether the AOC will be pursuing this parcel. The AOC must complete the CEQA process and also analyze whether this additional acquisition is within the project budget and/or future design. The AOC expects to release an environmental impact report later this summer and will hold a public meeting to discuss any potential significant effects caused by the project. The potential closure of the Jewel City Bowl is not an environmental issue per se, although the changes in traffic patterns and potential demolition of the building will be analyzed.

Will the project hire local contractors and local suppliers?

The AOC will contract with a construction manager at risk to provide preconstruction services and then to manage construction of the project. The selection of that firm and their work on the project will include local outreach to ensure qualified local first-tier and lower-tier subcontractors and suppliers have the opportunity to bid on the construction work.

Will the new courthouse be energy efficient and sustainably designed?

All courthouse projects funded by SB 1407 are being designed to achieve a LEED Silver certification by the U.S. Green Building Council. This is a third-party certification program and the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction, and operation of high-performance “green” buildings. More information on LEED

Will the local community have input on this project? How can it stay informed?

The Project Advisory Group, composed of court and community leaders, is the main source of ongoing community input to the project, but the AOC understands that the public will have questions about it as well. The AOC will provide accurate and timely information throughout site selection, design, and construction: Updates will be posted to the California Courts website, and media advisories will be distributed at key milestones. Public meetings on environmental issues will be held, and other public outreach will be conducted as needed. 

Contact Info

Administrative Office of the Courts
Judicial Branch Capital Program Office

455 Golden Gate Avenue, 8th Floor
San Francisco, California
94102-3688
PHONE
415-865-4900

EMAIL
JBCP@jud.ca.gov
FOR COURTS TO REPORT FACILITY ISSUES
Customer Service Center:
888-225-3583 or csc@jud.ca.gov
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