The suave, sophisticated WeHo aesthetic is about to get even sillier -- with a $2.6 million Unitronics parking garage. According to City News Service, it uses "computer-controlled lifts and conveyors to move vehicles into parking spaces."
Yay for robots! Mayor John Duran is already hopelessly in love with his new toy, beaming in a city statement today:
"City staff, residents and the City Council continue to work in upgrading the city's infrastructure to make sure our city meets the needs of a dynamic community."
Sigh. Nothing beats the fanciful feelin' of urban parking solutions in the springtime. But where to put the thing?
L.A. County's No. 1 gayborhood -- the definition of "too big for its britches" -- is already constructing a monstrous spaceship of a public library with three floors of parking (and, uh, three rooftop tennis courts) at Melrose and San Vicente, creepily dubbed the West Hollywood Park Master Plan (see below), so the west side of town is pretty much taken care of. Narrowing the options for a second mega-garage to...
West Hollywood City Hall parking lot. Duh!
It's not the worst place to add 200 parking spaces -- Santa Monica Boulevard can get pretty clogged -- but the structure itself is almost impossibly hideous, promising to cast its monstrous shadow over scattered cafes and dinky apartments like a great mauve sea barf. Behold the animated preview, whose hokey soundtrack perfectly embodies WeHo's always slightly off attempt at New York-style hip:
On the plus side, stacked parking is super environmentally friendly, as far as parking goes, and construction time is supposed to be quicker as well. Plus, robots!:
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"Automated parking garages utilize computer-controlled motorized lifts, conveyors and shuttles to transport cars from the arrival level to a parking space and vice versa, without human assistance."
Still, look forward to some solid months of hellish spot-searching before the WeHo car mall opens to the public. And when it does, don't expect the genius robot thingy to stack your car for cheap. (We're waiting on a call back from WeHo press officers for exact timeline and price tag.)
For more on West Hollywood's awkward, development-happy gentrification stage, see "West Follywood: How a progressive town founded on renters' rights and diversity ended up gridlocked, angry and elitist." Now how do we get this Tron contraption to land our helicopters?