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Los Angeles Union Station Master Plan

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Union Station is the region’s primary transit hub, connecting Southern California counties whose combined population totals more than 17 million. Metro purchased the iconic downtown LA station in 2011.

More than 60,000 travelers and commuters access the station’s transit providers, which include Metro bus and rail lines, Metrolink commuter rail, Amtrak long-distance rail, and numerous municipal carriers and specialty shuttles with connections to downtown Los Angeles. As Measure R funds Metro’s system expansion, Union Station is expected to see upwards of 100,000 boardings per day.

The Union Station Master Plan will develop Metro’s vision and plan to guide future development at the station, including transit operations and new private and/or public real estate development.

Project Goals

Celebrate the site’s history
The Master Plan will celebrate the station and embrace all adjacent neighborhoods’ rich history, providing for development that complements the station’s architecture and heritage to reinforce Union Station’s place in history. 

Improve the Union Station passenger experience
A program of improvements -- including upgraded signage, improved transfers and expanded services -- will be designed to enhance each passenger’s visit.

Create a great destination
Building on the significant attributes of Union Station, the Master Plan will shape the city’s premier destination for transit users, residents and visitors. Potential enhancements include creating a public space that is sensitive to the site’s historic and cultural fabric and adjacent neighborhoods. 

Prepare for High Speed Rail
The Master Plan will be flexible to accommodate anticipated future arrival of high speed rail (HSR) serving Union Station. 

Metro also recognizes the need for greater accessibility to Union Station from surrounding neighborhoods – and has initiated a separate study to look specifically at pedestrian and bicycle improvements in the areas around Union station. This Linkages Study will be closely coordinated with the Union Station Master Plan.

Project Schedule

June 2012 Consultant contract award
September 2012 Project kick-off
Fall 2012 Data collection and analysis
Stakeholder engagement
Union Station Technical Advisory Committee meeting
Winter 2012 Community kick-off
Presentation of program to the Metro Board of Directors
Spring-Summer 2013 Development of conceptual alternative plans
Union Station Advisory Committee meeting
Public workshop #1 (preliminary conceptual alternatives)
Public workshop #2 (refined conceptual alternatives)
Fall 2013 Metro Board of Directors to select preferred conceptual alternative
Fall 2014 Final Master Plan presented to Metro Board of Directors for adoption

Built in 1939, Union Station combines Spanish Colonial Revival architecture, Mission Revival and Streamline Moderne styles. The architecture team included John and Donald Parkinson who also designed Los Angeles City Hall and city landmarks.

Originally intended as a transcontinental terminus station for the Union Pacific, Santa Fe and Southern Pacific Railways, the station was a major hub for troop movement during World War II.  With the advent of air travel, train service declined at depots across the nation – including Union Station.  The station’s historic 161,000 square foot terminal was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980 and the station was restored in 1992. Beginning in the 1970s, growing use of Amtrak and expansion of local and regional rail revitalized the station as a major transportation hub. 

Union Station Transit Operations Milestones

  • Amtrak begins operating four long distance trains from Union Station
    • 1971– Coast Starlight
    • 1971– Southwest Chief
    • 1971– Sunset Limited
    • 1982– Texas Eagle
  • 1992 – Metrolink starts operations in Union Station
  • 1993 – Metro Red/Purple Line opens
  • 1995 – Patsaouras Transit Plaza opens, serving bus operations  
  • 2003 – Metro Gold Line begins service
  • 2006 – LAX FlyAway begins offering service to Union Station  

Union Station Property Highlights

  • Approximately 40-acres, transportation hub (Metro, Metrolink, Amtrak) and urban mixed-use development site.
  • Restored historic train station, extensive gardens and courtyards, and a range of dining options.
  • Approved for more than 6 million square feet of new development (Alameda District Specific Plan, adopted 1996).
  • Adjacent to downtown Los Angeles and El Pueblo, with close proximity to the Los Angeles Civic Center, Chinatown, Little Tokyo, the Arts District and Boyle Heights.
  • Headquarters for Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, Metrolink and Metropolitan Water District – with 1.1 million square feet of office space.
  • Property operations include agreements with the transit agencies, retail leases, filming locations, special events and parking.

Even More Eateries Slated for LA Union Station

Also on the agenda this month, the Metro Board will be considering leases for three new dining establishments in LA Union Station.

The first would be a new gastropub in the Fred Harvey Room, outlined in a Metro staff report on the proposed lease with Cedd Moses and Eric Needleman, who have been very successful with other downtown Los Angeles bars and eateries, including Seven Grand, the Golden Gopher, the Broadway Bar, Coles, Casey’s Irish Pub and several others that have helped fuel the recent revitalization of downtown. If the lease is approved by the full Metro Board, the new restaurant would be the first to occupy the Fred Harvey Room since the original Harvey House restaurant closed in 1967. The well preserved space has since been used for special events and filming.

Also under consideration are leases for two kiosks in the East Portal of LA Union Station. One is for a new coffee shop, Barista Society, and the other is an as yet unnamed “grab and go” bento box restaurant. These 3 exciting new options join the recent news about Café Crepe and T & Y Bakery. Bon appetit!

The LA Union Station Master Plan

The Union Station Master Plan will guide future development of the station to help it become an even greater destination. The Union Station Master Plan will optimize transit operations, enhance the historic site, and bring new development and activities to the station.

A look at the future of LA Union Station

The Union Station Master Plan will guide future development of the station to help it become an even greater destination. This conceptual animation offers a glimpse of how the station may evolve over the years to come.

Showing the latest posts relating to: Union Station Master Plan

2014: A milestone year for Metro
Posted by Steve Hymon on December 23, 2014 6:09 pm
Click on photos to see larger versions please By almost any measure, 2014 was a pretty remarkable one for ...
Metro Board approves Union Station Master Plan, allowing near-term projects to go forward
Posted by Dave Sotero on October 23, 2014 12:40 pm
The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority Board of Directors today approved actions to officially move the Union Station Master Plan, an ambitious long-range roadmap for ...
Transportation headlines, Wednesday, October 1
Posted by Steve Hymon on October 1, 2014 10:08 am
Have a transportation-related article you think should be included in headlines? Drop me an email! And don’t forget, Metro is on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Pick your social media ...
Metro seeks OK to move Union Station Master Plan from planning to implementation
Posted by Dave Sotero on September 17, 2014 1:17 pm
The Metro Board this month will consider recommendations for finalizing and implementing the ambitious Union Station Master Plan. That process begins Wednesday at the Board’s Planning ...
Gastropub proposed for Fred Harvey Room at Los Angeles Union Station!
Posted by Steve Hymon on September 15, 2014 9:18 am
Some exciting news to pass along this morning: The Metro Board of Directors this month will be considering a lease for a new gastropub to be located in the Fred Harvey Room at Los Angeles ...
Metro Presents: PARK(ing) Day at Union Station on September 19
Posted by Anna Chen on September 12, 2014 10:38 am
Los Angeles themed Lotería cards Leave your cars in park and join Metro for PARK(ing) Day at Union Station on Friday, September 19. From noon to 5 p.m.artist Alexis Disselkoen will create a ...
Transportation headlines, Thursday, Sept. 11
Posted by Steve Hymon on September 11, 2014 11:38 am
Have a transportation-related article you think should be included in headlines? Drop me an email! And don’t forget, Metro is on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Pick your social media ...
One Day in LA video looks into the future of Union Station
Posted by Anna Chen on August 14, 2014 12:41 pm
A nice, short video on beautiful Union Station by FORM follows FUNCTION. The video interviews Metro Deputy Executive Officer Jenna Hornstock, who provides a brief overview of the Los ...
Connect US seeks to better link Union Station to neighborhoods via new esplanades and bike paths
Posted by Steve Hymon on July 23, 2014 11:10 am
View this document on Scribd As most of you likely know, Metro has been developing the Union Station Master Plan to preserve the historic train depot while also renovating it and redeveloping parts ...
Transportation headlines, Wednesday, July 2
Posted by Steve Hymon on July 2, 2014 9:58 am
Have a transportation-related article you think should be included in headlines? Drop me an email! And don’t forget, Metro is on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Pick your social media ...

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