County parking lot reconstruction started

The demolition and reconstruction of the Contra Costa County parking lot behind 651 Pine St. is underway, said Zach Seal, economic development coordinator.

It’s one part of a larger project that ultimately will eliminate the current county administration building that towers above the Martinez downtown commercial district.

“The reconfiguration and upgrading of the parking lot is part of the county’s project to replace the functionally obsolete 1960s 12-story county administration building on Pine Street with a new, 71,000 square foot complex,” Seal said.

The new four-story building’s curved façade will face Escobar Street, he said. New public plazas “will add to downtown’s vitality and reshape the pedestrian experience around the project site,” Seal said.

The new complex will increase the number of parking spaces at the project site by about 75 spaces, for a total of 250.

This is expected to address the grown need for parking spaces for county employees, jurors and downtown businesses’ patrons, he said.

To reduce disruption to downtown businesses and visitors, there won’t be any street or sidewalk closures during the construction work on the parking lot, he said.

However, pedestrians and motorists downtown may notice minor noise and visual disruptions in the downtown area during the next five months, Seal said.

“City and county staff have worked closely with each other since the architecturally impressive and community-friendly project was conceived several years ago,” he said. “The city is excited about the new county administration building and our continued partnership with the county.”

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