Downey / Irvine (2015 to present)
In 2015 I was hired by Taco Bell Corporation to manage the relocation and rehab of the world's first Taco Bell! I continue to work with Taco Bell provide on call project management and historic preservation consulting services. This project has been complex - it has required community engagement, extensive project management and permitting, and the completion of assessments.
Project Management and Permitting
Taco Bell asked me to serve as Project Manager for the move in June of 2015, just after they learned that the building was facing imminent demolition. The building's owner gave us six months to relocate it, and we sprung into action!
I completed a thorough historic structure report to assess the building, secured permits, and planned and executed renovations. As a result the building was painted, fumigated, stabilized, and lifted for relocation. We ultimately traveled 47 miles (!) through twelve jurisdictions, which required me to obtain a total of sixteen transportation permits.
We engaged community stakeholders throughout the course of the project. Initially, that meant meeting with the City of Downey Planning staff to devise a path forward. Over time we also met with the Downey Conservancy and other stakeholders to seek their input.
I worked with the team at Taco Bell to develop strategies for engagement over the course of the move. We built a website where interested parties around the world could watch the building make the 47-mile trip to Irvine via live stream. We also worked with franchisees to designate select Taco Bell locations as viewing stations along the way.
On the evening of the relocation we hosted a well-attended 'farewell' party in Downey to celebrate the building's history! We were thrilled to see that people holding homemade signs had gathered along the route to celebrate with us as well!
In order to decide whether it would be a worthwhile effort to save the building, Taco Bell asked for a comprehensive assessment of its structure and historic features.
I completed a full historic structure report, commissioned as-built drawings, thoroughly documented the building, and worked with engineers to confirm it was able to withstand relocation.
Today, Taco Bell is utilizing this report as the basis for the building's rehab at its Irvine headquarters.