Bomel is again part of downtown L.A.’s growth spurt with completion of Toyota project

Nov. 1, 2017 –– With multiple cranes erected at high-rise construction projects within walking distance, Bomel Construction recently finished a parking structure for an expanding car dealership on the southern edge of fast-growing downtown Los Angeles.

The five-level garage was built for Toyota of Downtown Los Angeles, at Figueroa Street and Washington Boulevard, just south of Interstate 10. The dealer has a showroom up the street, at the corner of Figueroa and Venice Boulevard, on the north side of I-10. The entire facility is due to open later this month.

Bomel erected the 196-stall parking structure alongside general contractor ConAm Building. The developer of the entire 290,000-square-foot project is Trammell Crow; Shammas Group owns the dealership.

In addition to the parking structure, ConAm Building is putting the finishing touches on a 22,600-square-foot, two-story showroom; wholesale and retail parts boutique and 40-car-bay, below-grade service department.

Officials with Trammel Crow say the new location is expected to serve as a prototype for urban dealerships, vertically integrating its uses to maximize efficiency. For example, the dealership features a double-height showroom and has a façade that meets the sidewalk.

Going up, not out
In addition to working so close to a busy intersection, Bomel had other challenges when it began construction in September 2016.

Unlike suburban dealerships that occupy many times the acreage, the Toyota site was comparatively tiny at 1.6 acres. Additionally, Bomel worked alongside ConAm Building Co., which has limited experience in parking structure construction, and with other subcontractors hired by ConAm. The scenario created the urgent need to establish effective lines of communication and responsibility.

“ConAm had all the upfront trades contracted, including earth work and shoring,” said Alex Matranga, Bomel’s project manager. “It was a little bit of a struggle to get everyone on the same page because we had a big part in creating the schedule and then had to direct subcontractors that were not hired by us.”

Once everyone was moving in the same direction, Matranga said things worked out very well. “ConAm gave us the flexibility to schedule and do things the way we like to do it,” he explained. “ConAm wanted to help us in any way they could. It was a good back-and-forth relationship.”

The garage measures 386 feet by 154 feet. It is 41-feet, 11-inches tall, the height of the parapets at the roof level. The elevator shaft extends above the roof level.

Showroom inside the garage
The parking structure will have many different uses. The basement level is for vehicle maintenance and repairs. The showroom is inside the northeast section of the parking structure’s ground level at the intersection of Washington and Figueroa. The ground level is designated for customer parking. There is a small amount of parking on the first two above-grade levels. The top level will be used to park inventory. Most cars will enter or exit from Washington or Figueroa. A third gateway will be on a side street called Lovelace Avenue.

This was a job for night owls due to strict limitations on traffic control and the inability to close lanes on Washington Boulevard during the day. At 27.4 miles, Washington Boulevard is the longest continuous east-west arterial road in Los Angeles.

“A majority of our big slab and deck pours were between the hours of midnight and 5:00 a.m., with some lasting until late morning,” Matranga explained.

The Bomel team included Bill Godwin, project executive; Alex Matranga, project manager; Dan Landini, project superintendent and Tim Brown, formwork superintendent.

Ryan Hill, vice president of ConAm Building, said he appreciated the depth of experience and cooperation that Bomel brought to the project.

“Bomel was awesome to work with on the parking structure portion,” he said. “It couldn’t have gotten any better having them out there.”

In terms of size, the parking structure is on the opposite end of the spectrum from a garage that Bomel completed last year on the east side of downtown Los Angeles, an area that has been experiencing significant capital investment in commercial and residential construction projects. In May 2016, Bomel finished a 10-level, 3,884-stall garage for owner Atlas Capital Group.

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