City Council Scraps North Portal Metro Plans

Citing higher than expected costs, the Beverly Hills City Council voted unanimously on May 6 to discontinue construction of a North Portal at the Wilshire/Rodeo station of the Metro D Line Subway Extension Project.  

In November 2020, Metro and city officials signed an agreement to each pay half of the $78.5 million the portal was expected to cost. But after consulting firm HDR submitted preliminary designs three years later, the estimated price tag had risen to $134 million, a 70% increase from the earlier estimate, City Engineer Daren Grilley said.

“This is obviously very disappointing,” Councilmember Craig Corman said. “I think the community would very much like to have a North Portal, I think it was a great idea … but it’s clear that financially this portal was beyond us.”   

With plans for the portal scrapped, Corman said it was important for the council to focus on other resident concerns surrounding the Metro, including mitigating traffic, ensuring safety on the subway and near the stations, and making it easy for pedestrians to access the Golden Triangle from the southern side of Wilshire Boulevard.      

Vice Mayor Sharona Nazarian asked if Metro might be inclined to foot the bill for some of these initiatives, given that the agency had previously agreed to pay almost $40 million for the North Portal.

“We’ve had discussions with them and [Councilmember John Mirisch] is correct. The answer is very likely no,” City Attorney Laurence Wiener said.  

For his part, Mirisch said that while he was never opposed to building a North Portal, he was always against having Beverly Hills pay for it. 


Rendering of the proposed North Portal in 2020

“This is subway construction 101. Anyone who’s ever been to a subway, whether it’s Stockholm, Paris, London or New York, there are very few stations that have only one exit,” Mirisch said. “So, the notion that we should be paying for [Metro] … to do their work was always offensive to me.”  

Public commenters were supportive of the council’s decision.  

Beverly Hills Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Todd Johnson and Southwest Beverly Hills Homeowners Association President Ken Goldman both said in written comments that abandoning the North Portal was the right call. Goldman urged the council to concentrate police resources around the South Portal.  

Resident Sam Blum wrote in to urge the council to add the portal, saying that an artistic design could help Beverly Hills reaffirm its position as a cultural destination. 

The council’s vote seemed to dash any such hopes. Staff will now return to Metro for discussions about how to proceed. If Metro agrees not to build the portal, both parties will split the $10.37 million that has already been incurred, according to a staff report.   

Last month, Metro officials celebrated the completed tunneling of the project, a major milestone after years of construction and delays. Scheduled for completion in 2027, the new subway is projected to carry more than 53,000 weekly riders between the Westside and Downtown, adding seven new stations between La Brea Avenue and Westwood. 

During a press conference in front of the Wilshire/Fairfax station, Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass said that the project would help Downtown residents access services and opportunities on the other side of the city just before the 2028 Summer Olympics shines extra light on L.A.  

“What we’re talking about is transformative change that will change our city forever, and just in time for the world to come for the Olympics in 2028,” Bass said. 

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