Yesterday, Metro released the final environmental impact report (including final recommendations) for the nine-mile extension of the Purple Line, which will connect Westwood to Downtown via Beverly Hills, Miracle Mile, and Koreatown. The extension adds seven new stations: at La Brea, Fairfax, La Cienega, Beverly Dr., Century City, Westwood, and Westwood VA hospital. In the lengthy EIR, Metro has included renderings for the Fairfax, La Cienega, and Beverly Dr. stations (Fairfax and La Cienega will open by 2020, Beverly Dr. in 2026, but the stations could open early and all at once if America Fast Forward passes. The bill would provide federal loans for the project.) According to Metro's The Source blog, the Fairfax station will set up shop at the northwest corner of Wilshire and Fairfax, at a parking lot next to Johnie's restaurant, the defunct establishment often used for filming. The Source notes that the renderings don't include possible future developments, and something tells us Johnie's will either go the way of the dinosaurs that once roamed Miracle Mile or be incorporated into a new tower.
According to FAQs in the EIR, it would be too expensive to build a Fairfax station inside the old May Company building that's part of LACMA (and that will be converted into the Oscars museum): "the Final EIS/EIR estimated that the 'May Company' entrance would cost at least $8-30 million more than either of the other options evaluated. This does not include additional potential costs given the greater risks and uncertainties due to the challenges of building within an older, historic building." An entrance further east at Orange Grove would also be more expensive than the one by Johnie's and it would make it harder for people to hop on a Fairfax bus.
The entrance to the La Cienega station will be at the northeast corner of Wilshire and La Cienega, current site of a low-rise bank branch (see ya, Citibank). The rendering shows quite a sizable public plaza. The other corners of La Cienega and Wilshire have towers or large buildings sitting on them, so it's clear why Metro went with this choice.
Finally, The Source shows off the Beverly Dr./Rodeo Dr. stop, which might just be called the Beverly Hills station, since the entrance/exit is actually at Wilshire and Reeves, a block east of Beverly Dr. At the current site of the station is the Ace Gallery, owned by Doug Christmas, who made some pretty wild comments about the subway a few months back.
Proposed locations at Beverly Dr. and El Camino Dr. didn't pass muster because they "would have each required squeezing the station entrance components -- elevators, escalators, stairs and station entrance covering -- onto already narrow sidewalks. For the Beverly Drive location, this would have further required widening the sidewalk on Beverly Drive eliminating curb parking and at least one traffic lane. Below ground components for each of these station entrances -- including passenger walkways -- would have resulted in a permanent loss of a significant portion of the underground parking for each of the buildings at those locations." And you'll have to pry Beverly Hills's underground parking from its cold dead hands.
· Where will the station entrances be for the Westside Subway Extension? [The Source]
· Final Plans For Wilshire Subway: Tunneling Under Bev Hills High, Westwood/Wilshire Station [Curbed LA]