WEST HOLLYWOOD—Located on Sweetzer Avenue, behind West Hollywood City Hall, is the first robo garage to arrive on the  West Coast. This new addition to West Hollywood is an automated garage that parks vehicles for their drivers and opened on June 1. The technology of this new invention is the product of the Israeli company known as Unitronics. In March 2014, the City broke ground on the project and construction was completed in spring 2016.

The system works after the driver pulls into a small “entry bay,” takes a parking ticket, and leaves. Once the motion sensors and scanners detect that no one is inside, the car is shuttled to its parking space in just a few minutes. When the driver returns to retrieve their car, they pay the ticket and wait for their vehicle to arrive in an “exit bay.”

The Automated Garage contains four bays for entry and exit. Each bay features a hand-painted mural by artists including Art of Chase, MONCHO1929, Bronwyn Lundberg, and Kim West. The garage features a large glass pane facing east toward Sweetzer Avenue where people can watch as mechanical shuttles carry vehicles in and out of bays. The window includes a fixed-art installation by renowned public artist Ned Kahn, with a grid of large clear marbles that reflect moving parts inside the garage. The structure also contains roof-mounted photovoltaic solar panels, features the use of a sustainable material made from recycled grocery bags, and uses drought-tolerant landscaping.

The cost of the automated garage is $16 million, and is roughly the same as a traditional 200 space capacity garage. The footprint of the original parking lot remains the same size, but can now accommodate 200 cars from the original 68. This increase is due to the fact that once the car is inside the garage, the doors of the cars do not have to be opened for drivers to exit them. This allows for the cars to be parked inches from each other.

One of the benefits of the automated garage is that drivers do not have to remember where they parked. The power consumption of the parking lot is significantly lower than that of a standard lot. Tailpipe pollution is lower as well in an automated garage compared to the traditional parking garage. CO2 emissions are predicted to be equal to removing 92 cars from the road or planting 67,000 trees.

The automated parking lot comes with a Community Plaza, with trees, benches and a fountain. It also features a stage for community events. The parking garage is open during the following hours:

Mondays – Thursdays, 8 a.m. to Midnight

Fridays, 8 a.m. to 2 a.m.

Saturdays, 12 p.m. to 2 a.m.

Sundays, 12 p.m. to Midnight

Construction management was provided by Heery International, Inc., a nationwide firm that for the past 40 years has been dedicated to sustainable design and construction practices.

For additional information about the Automated Garage and Community Plaza at West Hollywood City Hall, please call (323) 848-6375.

By Gabrielle Sharfman and Casey Jacobs