$395M Deukmejian Courthouse Officially Opens For Business

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Photos by Brian Addison

The $395 million Governor George Deukmejian Courthouse officially opened doors Monday for its first day of normal operations after having previews through the past week.

The project—a public-private partnership (PPP) between the Judicial Council of California (JCC), Long Beach Judicial Partners LLC (LBJP), and the County of Los Angeles itself—spans some 545,000 square-feet along Magnolia Ave. and Broadway and houses 31 new courtrooms. The PPP is based upon “Performance-Based Infrastructure” contracting—the first of its kind for a social infrastructure—which essentially means that the JCC will own the building, the County will occupy the majority of its space, and the LBJP will privately maintain the space under annual, performance-based fees provided by JCC for 35 years.

IMG 0153LBJP promises a certain level of performance—which also included the building being complete within a certain timeframe—that it must meet in its operations in order to collect its maximum payments, including wear and tear of the building itself.

According to the Judicial Branch of California, “The private company must cover all risks related to design and construction–such as any additional work needed to pass building code agency reviews and receive permits, any costs related to construction delays, and even latent defects in the architectural or engineering design.”

IMG 0157The original courthouse at Magnolia and Ocean Boulevard was built in 1958, and exudes the mid-century modern ideals of straight lines and clean facades. However, Long Beach’s population was significantly smaller back then and the building soon became too small for the city’s needs. Eventually, it was clear that the classic modern building was both overused and inefficient in keeping up with the times.

The new courthouse, with an estimated 110,000 people to enter monthly, will also serve the San Pedro community after its courthouse—which mainly handled traffic violations—closed earlier this year. This means that the Deukmejian Courthouse will handle everything from murder trials to traffic offenses, with over 160,000 cases expected to be filed annually.

In addition to the space occupied by the county, five occupancies for businesses line the building, including a Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf currently in operation.

Plans have not been announced for the now-empty old courthouse on Ocean Blvd.

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Brian Addison has been a writer, editor, and photographer for more than a decade, covering everything from food and culture to transportation and housing. In 2015, he was named Journalist of the Year by the Los Angeles Press Club and has since garnered 16 nominations and two additional wins for Best Political Commentary for his work at KCET and Best Blog for Longbeachize, a section of the Long Beach Post. Brian currently serves as a columnist and editor for the Long Beach Post.
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