House committee to hold hearing on proposed federal courthouse in downtown L.A.

The proposed site of a new federal courthouse in downtown L.A. Image by Google Maps.

Familiar with the big, empty block between 1st and 2nd streets and Hill and Broadway? The plan for years was to build a federal courthouse there. That’s the plan, anyway. But the project is getting increased scrutiny in Congress, which has yet to release the money to pay for a new building, which would be across the street from the 2nd/Broadway station for the Regional Connector and near an existing Civic Center subway station entrance at 1st/Hill. Here’s the details from Metro’s government relations team:

House Transportation Committee to Hold Hearing Next Friday in Los Angeles on Planned Federal Courthouse

The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee’s Subcommittee on Economic Development, Public Buildings and Emergency Management, under the leadership of its Chairman, California Congressman Jeff Denham (R-19), is scheduled to hold a hearing in Los Angeles on August 17, 2012. The hearing is entitled, “LA Courthouse: GSA’s Plan To Spend $400 million To Create Vacant Space.” The hearing will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Friday, August 17, 2012 at the Edward R. Roybal Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse located at 255 East Temple Street in the City of Los Angeles. According to the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee’s website, “Subcommittee Chairman Denham and Full Committee Chairman Mica are leading Congressional efforts to eliminate waste in our government by reducing our federal footprint and better utilizing federally owned assets.” According to the website, “The L.A. Courthouse project is a prime example of runaway government spending that will cost taxpayers in excess of $400 million.”

Earlier this year, Congresswoman Lucille Roybal Allard (D-34), a member of the powerful House Committee on Appropriations and a strong advocate for our agency in Congress, praised the General Services Administration for issuing a new proposal – for the long planned federal courthouse in Los  Angeles. In a press release issued by her office, the Congresswoman shared, “This new plan will create even more construction jobs for our community and is a win, win, win for the courts, federal employees and the people of Southern California.”

6 replies

  1. so what can we do … “we the people” to ensure that this waste of money doesn’t happen? This plot of land that the city could and should sell. Why not take that money to rebuild, remodel, etc the current Federal Court house. Which if you walk into is not only beautiful, but lacks the amount of actually judges to fill the current available court rooms . So they are going to build a new bldg to house almost the exact amount of judges (and empty judges chambers/ court rooms). HOW does this make sense? one of the agreements is that it will brings construction jobs to Downtown LA. Well, if the land is sold and hopefully a Grand Ave like project grows within that vast pit. That would not only bring temp construction jobs but permanent new job with in all the new bldgs and continue the current trent of new residence to Downtown LA.

  2. Considering that this is going to be a brand-new building next door to a brand-new rail station, it would be nice if the various government agencies could coordinate efforts and work together to link the two together.

    It wouldn’t be impossible, just thinking outside of the bureaucratic box. All you would need would be a “basement” level that was half-Metro, half-Justice Department, with Metro subway gates on one side and metal detectors on the other side for the courthouse entrance.

    Even a typical Metro subway entrance plaza on the courthouse side would be better than nothing.

  3. I’ve read that security is an issue. At times, they actually walk inmate through the halls intead of “in custody”, away from the general public. Not to mention blind spots within holding areas that pose a risk to security and inmates. The current courthouse (not Prison). Is of the 20th Century, and is need of “updates.” But an outdated facility cant be updated. Prisons and courts unfortunately are a part of infrastructure just like schools and buses.

  4. I believe this new courthouse would replace those older ones, which can be used either for other offices within the federal system or sold off.

  5. HOW MANY FEDERAL COURTHOUSES DOES L.A. NEED? There is already at least 1 or 2 downtown as it is! WHY would a 3rd be needed?