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Construction to Start on Cal Ave Garage & Public Safety Building

Construction to Start on Cal Ave Garage & Public Safety Building

Construction is slated to begin the week of Jan. 22 as work on the City’s public garage and Public Safety Building gets underway. The parking garage at 350 Sherman Avenue is being built first and is expected to be complete in 2020 when construction on the new Public Safety Building (PSB) will kick off.  The PSB is expected to be complete by 2022. 

As part of the construction preparation, 35 trees near California Avenue have been tagged for removal to accommodate the new PSB and parking garage with a tree mitigation plan part of the adopted Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the project. Many of the trees located on Lots C6 and C7 where the projects are to be built would likely not survive removal and replanting elsewhere due to inadequate root systems from being planted and grown in a paved parking lot, according to the City’s Urban Forester. However, City staff is exploring the possibility of removing and milling tree #12 (in the arborist’s report), the tallest coastal redwood, and incorporating the wood into the project or into another City facility.  

As part of the EIR, the City had an arborist conduct a survey of the trees.  The arborist’s report is intended to provide input for, but not dictate building design. The PSB design has particular requirements to make it fully operational and functional for the long term, which includes a footprint that builds out to the lot line. The public parking garage will include 636 spaces to provide adequate future parking for people visiting California Avenue, and to ensure that parking does not spill over into nearby residential neighborhoods. 

The tree replacement plan includes 21 new trees that will be planted on the parking garage parcel and 35 new trees planted on the Public Safety Building parcel. In addition, there will be a number of off-site tree planting locations that will contribute to the overall canopy of the area. It is estimated that future canopy growth will be equivalent in about 15 years, and will be much enhanced in years following due to the additional trees and off-site plantings.  

The removal of trees for the public parking structure and the Public Safety Building is being done concurrently to enhance the efficiency of construction and staging, minimize disruption and maximize parking for businesses and visitors on California Avenue. Work on the trees is scheduled to be complete by the end of January to avoid impacting seasonal nesting.   

City staff will host a site walk-through at the 350 Sherman Avenue parking lot on Friday, Jan. 18, at 2:30 p.m. The walk-through is an opportunity for the public to learn about the projects, the upcoming tree removals, and the City’s broader commitment to Palo Alto’s urban forest. 

More information on the tree plan can be found on the project’s Frequently Asked Questions page. For more information on the project, go to: cityofpaloalto.org/psb.

Last Updated: January 14, 2019