Construction work has been making progress for the new Palo Alto Public Safety Building at 250 Sherman Avenue in Palo Alto’s Evergreen Park neighborhood. Groundbreaking occurred in June of this year, replacing downtown surface parking with a three-story municipal office building for the Santa Clara County city. The building will function as a police station and administration office for the fire and police departments.
250 Sherman Avenue will yield over 45,000 square feet of office area from a 17,200 square-foot footprint. Parking will be included for 154 vehicles across two below-grade levels of parking. According to the project website, “the new PSB will house the Police Department, 911 Emergency Dispatch Center, the Emergency Operations Center, the Office of Emergency Services, and the administration needs of the Fire Department.”
The 50-foot structure is designed by Ross Drulis Cusenbery Architecture, a Californian architecture firm with studios in Sonoma and Berkeley. The building exterior will be clad with board-formed concrete, porcelain tile veneer, aluminum aerofoil louvers, and cast-in-place concrete.
The varied and articulated facade is an intentional nod to the mixture of building sizes around Palo Alto. With public open space and landscaping covering most of the centrally located parcel, the project incorporates arcades, a grand staircase, and a plaza environment to invite the public inwards.
For the design’s formal review, the design team writes, “The proposed design creates a distinctive civic identity through a series of prominent civic markers nested within an understated backdrop of rich landscaping and informal visual textures. The overall building volumes are de-emphasized, receding in deference to the smaller-scale, dynamic and colorful civic points-of-contact.”
Construction is expected to cost $118 million, with completion scheduled for the summer of 2023. Swinerton is responsible for construction.
Across from 250 Sherman will be the California Avenue Garage at 350 Sherman Avenue. The building was complete in December 2020, costing $50 million to provide parking for 627 vehicles and over 50 bicycles. The construction is expected to be capped with solar panels to give energy to the future Public Safety building.
The property is located by Palo Alto’s central California Avenue commercial thoroughfare and two blocks from the California Avenue Train Station, with Caltrain service connecting San Francisco and San Jose.