Progress on New Carlsbad City Hall and Civic Center Location


As the City of Carlsbad pursues a plan to build a new city hall and civic center, the City Council accepted two reports Tuesday night outlining the square footage needed for the new project and criteria most important to residents and city staff in selecting a new location.

MIG, Inc., the project consultant, reviewed all existing city facilities, projected staffing and office space needs to the year 2035, as well as the best practices for commercial office space to determine how much space will be needed. The report estimates that the overall square footage needed for a new city hall and civic center is between 141,000-184,000 square feet for a workforce of more than 330 people.

The second report outlined the factors being considered for the new site. Based on meetings with city staff and public input from more than 1,200 community members, the criteria were organized into six major categories: location, transportation and utilities, site character, size and configuration, constructability and funding sources/opportunity costs.

The City of Carlsbad currently operates out of a number of buildings across the city. Residents, business owners and others needing services or information from the city are faced with a confusing and inefficient array of buildings, many of which are in need of significant maintenance and modernization. Several times a year, the city sets up chairs and TVs outside the City Council chamber because it cannot accommodate all the people who want to participate in their local government meetings.

The city is considering four locations, all city owned, for the new city hall and civic center:
The existing city hall location on Carlsbad Village Drive, including the Cole Library and nearby lots to the north and east
The western parking lot of Pine Avenue Community Park
The existing Faraday Center location in the Carlsbad Research Center Business Park
The former Farmers Insurance building in the Carlsbad Research Center Business Park at the corner of Faraday and El Camino Real

A new city hall will be paid for with money collected from development fees over the past 30 plus years, which can only be used for this purpose. This means the city will not need to raise taxes or take out a loan.

Next Steps
The project team will map out how the square footage and desired criteria fit within each of the four sites.
These plans will be presented back to the community for further input through early 2020.
Community input will be incorporated into a final report presented to the City Council.
The City Council will have the option of choosing a new city hall and civic center location or providing additional direction to city staff.

More Information
New City Hall and Civic Center project webpageSept. 17 staff report
Sign up for City Hall and Civic Center Project updates
Curtis M. Jackson,, 760-434-2836

September 18, 2019