The Arcadia City Council chose a design concept Tuesday for the planned transit plaza adjacent to the station and parking for the Gold Line train to be built on the northwest corner of First Avenue across Santa Clara Avenue from 24 Hour Fitness.
The station itself is to feature some custom designs relating to Santa Anita Park horse race track, as proposed by the Arcadia Chamber of Commerce and others. A new parking garage will initially be two-level with about 300 spaces. The original plan for a transit plaza in the triangular area east of the parking garage was to incorporate some retail elements using state development funds, but that component had to be eliminated when Gov. Brown axed Redevelopment Agencies earlier this year.
The Council chose the Town Square Design (at right above and below) recommended by staff from among three options, and asked staff to look into adding a water feature and refine the benches and furniture concepts. The Town Square concept opens out to the street, and connects the Gold Line station with the downtown area, while allowing flexibility of use. Public art features could also be added.
The plan is still in the conceptual stage at this point, to be refined with a consultant over the next couple of months and added to the Gold Line’s bid package due to be released at the end of September, according to Assistant City Manager/Development Services Director Jason Kruckeberg.
Most of the costs of the transit plaza enhancements would be covered by the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) and federal funds, with the City chipping in $136,500 that would be added to an MTA grant of $318,400 obtained by City staff. Those funds would be pooled and used to leverage matching federal funds obtained by the Gold Line Construction Authority for pedestrian, bicycle and bus access, walkways, and way-finding enhancements to Gold Line stations, according to last week’s staff report to the Council.
The Authority has allocated $1.23 million for these improvements around the Arcadia Station, including the transit plaza. However, the grant requires a 20% local match ($245,860).
The bottom line is that Arcadia will gain station area improvements that will be worth approximately $1.65 million at a cost to the City and taxpayers of only $136,500.
The City has reserved $5 mil. (plus interest accrued to date) in Proposition A/C funds for the purpose of Gold Line related improvements, including the Santa Anita Grade Separation, along with $8 mil. approved by the voters in 2006. Currently, there is approximately $400,000 in the Proposition A/C Reserve account that is un-programmed. Thus, Proposition A/C Reserve funds can be used to cover the total City’s cost of $136,500.
By Scott Hettrick