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Bellflower Council Approves Firehouse Museum

FM 03


By Tammye McDuff

The Design-build project for the Bellflower Events Center and Fire Museum was presented to City Council this past March 28 and was subsequently approved on a 5-0 vote. Ledcor Group, a San Diego based company, will team with Sillman Wright Architects on the proposed two-story structure that will feature the LA County Fire Museum facility on the first floor and Bellflower Events Center on the second floor.

The proposed site, near the heart of Bellflower’s historic downtown, is located on a former redevelopment agency property at 16400 Bellflower Boulevard.

The total size of the building will be over 24,000 square feet and is projected to cost $9.6 million. Design of the facility is scheduled to begin in April, and will take up to 5 months. Groundbreaking for the project is expected to be fall of 2016, with at tentative completion date of fall 2017.

The project was delayed for several months due to lack of funding, the city had $7.5 million but that only yielded a single proposal that was rejected by the Council July 2015.

The city secured an additional $2.1 million dollars and re-opened the bid process in August 2015. The City received seven bids from interested firms with the Ledcor Group submitting the winning bid at $9.6 million.

Ledcor Design Build is an extension of Ledcor Group Company headquartered in San Diego. They have completed more than 70 Design Build contracts, with 15 located in California. Sillman Wright Architects has provided architectural services since 1976, designing over 1,000 projects in Southern California.

Before construction started, the state had to approve an agreement transferring the property to the city, and the sale of the lot to the Los Angeles County Fire Museum Association. Proceeds of the sale would be put toward the projects costs.

January 7 of this year was a huge day for the Association. Finally, after years of effort and membership support, the Association finally owned the 10,000 square foot building on a 25,000 square foot lot in the City.

The city has been involved in discussions and plans for the Fire Museum since about 2005. At the time, Bellflower was looking for opportunities to revitalize the downtown and create a sense of destination. The current museum is housed on a side street, at 9834 Flora Vista Street.