Surface-level public parking lots on Fifth Street could be exchanged for private property on Seventh Street under a deal aimed at acquiring land for a new fire station.
The Santa Monica City Council is being asked to approve on Tuesday a deal to exchange two city-owned parcels at 1338 and 1342 and 1321 Fifth St.—currently used for parking lots and a single-story retail building—for property at 1337 Seventh St.
The land would be used for a new fire station to serve downtown and northwest Santa Monica. The existing downtown station at 1444 7th St. was built in 1955 and is in need of seismic retrofits and other upgrades, according to the city.
Staffers say it would be "more prudent" to construct a new station, rather than remodel the existing one.
The station is one of limited number of capital projects designated to receive funding in the new fiscal year, which starts July 1. The city is earmarking $3 million in 2012-13, and proposing about another $32.5 million through 2017.
It's estimated the new station would be built by the spring of 2016.
The deal under consideration Tuesday is considered an even exchange, however, the Seventh Street property owner is asking for up to 100 monthly parking passes at the Main Library. According to city staffers, during the busiest times of the day, there are still 157-210 of 525 parking spaces available the library at any given time.