June 13, 2019 12:00 AM
by Delana Gbenekama

Caption: Aerial image of the proposed City Yards site

The Santa Monica City Yards is the heart of operations for essential city services. While many may not be familiar with the site, all Santa Monicans benefit from the services that the City Yards provides whether to homes or businesses, or in our libraries, parks, and public spaces. Water operations, trash and recycling services, street maintenance, and fire training are just a handful of examples of services that function out of the City Yards. The existing buildings and facilities were constructed back in the 1940s and are woefully outdated, seismically unsafe, and obsolete in some cases.  

Overhauling these 80-year-old buildings to adhere to current building standards will allow the site to meet operational demands and continue to provide the exceptional and essential services the community relies on. With City Council’s unanimous vote, the first phase of the project begins on July 1, 2019. 

Beyond the criticality of bringing the yards up to seismic standards and setting the site up for service delivery in the decades to come, the modernization reflects Santa Monica’s commitment to the environment by helping meet ambitious sustainability goals. The project combines efficient building design with solar components and stormwater capture techniques to transition the City Yards into an environmentally friendly place. We’re also enhancing safety by realigning the site layout to separate vehicular and pedestrian traffic and installing crosswalks throughout the property for people traveling by all transit modes, particularly those on foot. 

Caption: Rendering of new fleet building

Customer service is always a focus for the City. Community members who conduct business at the yards will have a better experience. Customers will no longer have to walk from building to building to figure out where they need to go to take care of business. The new City Yards will feature an easily accessible public counter to do everything from buying compost bins to submitting construction waste management plans for review. 

Public Works employees are on the frontlines every day to build and maintain Santa Monica’s infrastructure. For this team, these improvements will provide safe facilities equipped with technology that meet operational needs for decades to come. Thirteen outdated facilities will be demolished as part of phase 1 and will be replaced by six new buildings. For neighbors to the City Yards, future phases of the project include street-facing improvements to make the site more inviting. There will be wider sidewalks, public art along Michigan Avenue, an outdoor courtyard and community meeting space.  This work is expected to be completed by the end of 2023.  

To read more about these exciting improvements, visit our City Yards Modernization Project page, including the June 11, 2019 staff report approved by the City Council.

Email questions to project manager Joel Cesare, at architecture@smgov.net or call (310) 458-2205. 


Authored By

Delana Gbenekama
Communications and Marketing Coordinator