Over the years, the Long Beach Courthouse, built in 1956, had become plagued with facility maintenance issues. Court proceedings often started late or had to be rescheduled because the facilities were unavailable due to things like elevator and electrical outages, security system failures, and ceiling tiles falling down. The California Judicial Council's Administrative Office of the Courts was interested in an alternative procurement model that would ensure the facility was well built and maintained over time.
Edgemoor helped assembled a world-class team of designers, master planners, builders, long-term operators, and financiers who collaborated to solve this challenge by committing to a Performance Based service contract to Design Build Finance Operate and Maintain (DBFOM) a new facility for the state. This unique contracting method allowed the state to deduct from its monthly service payments if portions of the facility were not operable (elevators, for example). The state also did not make any payments until they moved in. The penalty regime kept the Project Team motivated to build a robust facility and encouraged collaboration among designers, builders and operators throughout the delivery. Today, the new Long Beach Courthouse has earned a reputation as the providing the most efficient and reliable access to justice in the state.
The new Long Beach Courthouse occupies a 6-acre site assembled by the redevelopment agency of Long Beach from a former collection of pawns shops, bail bonds, and other old homes and businesses. While the site had been cleared, the utility infrastructure to service six blocks of independent structures needed to be reconfigured prior to the start of construction.
Edgemoor began meeting with utility companies early in the project to develop plans to reroute the utilities without interruption to service in downtown Long Beach. Edgemoor secured permits and right-of-way abandonments in time to begin digging the basements and meet the delivery schedule for the new courthouse.
Getting a new courthouse approved and appropriated can often take years and be a daunting political task. In Long Beach, the Administrative Office of Courts (AOC) asked development teams to provide potential expansion space for future courts growth in a way that they did not have to pay for the space today.
Edgemoor responded to this challenge by working with the design-build team to program in and design the basic infrastructure for 36 courtrooms—allowing the courts an expansion options from the 31 courtroom facility provided at opening. The financial burden of this extra space was offset with a 3rd-party lease to the LA County justice agencies, including the District Attorney, Public Defender, and Probation Services. The AOC has an option to convert a portions of the county's 92,000 square feet into courtrooms in 15 years. The design of the project allows this to happen for a minimum tenant improvement cost.
Court business happens every day of the year. Closing the court's calendar in one of the busiest facilities in Los Angeles County was not a good option for the LA Superior Court in Long Beach. The State wanted to minimize downtime.
Edgemoor responded to this challenge by designing a turnkey facility that was “coffee cup ready.” The new courthouse was finished on a Friday and was up-and-running the following Monday morning—on their first day in the new courthouse, employees only had to bring their morning coffee! Edgemoor, the AOC, and the design-build team worked to ensure that most of the punch list items were taken care of, employee computers were installed and working, security systems were thoroughly tested, and the building was fully commissioned. Edgemoor also coordinated the clients' move in to provide a seamless transition over a single weekend.
"This project is marked by calmness, creativity, and cooperation. I've been on a lot of construction projects and this is the highest level of that."
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