San Diego County, Central Courthouse

Completion Date: October 2017
Occupancy Date: October 4, 2017
Gross Square Footage: 704,000
Total Courtrooms: 71
Authorized Project Budget: $555,499,000
Architectural/Engineering Firm: Skidmore, Owings, & Merrill LLP
Construction Manager at Risk: Rudolph & Sletten, Inc.
Fund: SB 1407
Initial Funding Year: FY 2009–2010

Awards & Recognition

American Architecture Award of 2012, Chicago Athenaeum Museum of Architecture and Design

San Diego County, Central Courthouse

The Superior Court of San Diego County was previously located in multiple facilities in the San Diego metropolitan area, most of which were seriously outdated and deficient. The new courthouse replaced the County Courthouse, the Family Courthouse, and the Madge Bradley Courthouse in downtown San Diego. These buildings were found to be unsafe, overcrowded, and inadequate for modern court operations.

The new courthouse provides the court's central court district with a full-service, consolidated facility for criminal, probate, family court, and small claims services. It also brings downtown a small claims calendar from the Kearny Mesa courthouse, improving service to residents of the central San Diego area. This project is the largest to be funded under the Senate Bill 1407 court construction program.

The County of San Diego and the City of San Diego have strongly supported the new courthouse in downtown San Diego. The County and Judicial Council staff negotiated an equity exchange agreement for a site near the Central Jail, approximately 1.4 acres in downtown San Diego bounded by West "C" Street, Union Street, West "B" Street, and State Street. Some parties refer to the site as the "Stahlman Block."

This project includes a bridge between the new courthouse and the Hall of Justice. After completion of the new courthouse, the County Courthouse and Old Jail will be demolished.
The equity exchange agreement included other features, such as the state assuming liability for any seismic damage. In the exchange agreement, the state also received equity to approximately 20,000 square feet of space in the Chula Vista Regional Justice Center, for badly needed additional court operations to address large increases in caseload in southern San Diego County.

California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) Compliance
Judicial Council staff are responsible for preparation of an environmental report to comply with CEQA.

August 9, 2010, to September 22, 2010: Draft Environmental

Impact Report (EIR) circulated.

September 8, 2010: Public meeting held.

In response to public comments, council staff completed a Final EIR.

EIR, part 1
EIR, part 2
Appendices A through E
Appendix F
Appendices G-I

On December 15, 2010, Judicial Council staff filed a Notice of Determination, thereby completing the CEQA process.


Contact Info

Judicial Council of California
Facilities Services

455 Golden Gate Avenue
8th Floor
San Francisco, California