Tilke designed test track for Porsche to be built in Carson, CA
Porsche will open a massive "Experience Center" with an off-road course and a variety of simulated driving conditions on an existing golf course and former apartment complex in Carson, company officials announced Wednesday at the LA Auto Show.
|Porsche Experience Center|
Porsche Experience Center Los Angeles would be the automaker's fourth facility worldwide. The existing centers are in Great Britain, Germany and China. Another is planned for the company's U.S. headquarters complex in Atlanta.
Company officials expect to break ground on the center next summer. First, landowner Watson Land Co. will oversee environmental remediation of the soil, which sits on several former landfills.
"We have been working on this for over a year," Watson Land Co. spokeswoman Pilar Hoyos said. "This is iconic and will attract visitors to the city from around the world."
The site is just off the San Diego (405) Freeway near the Main Street exit, where the Dominguez Hills Golf Course is currently located. The 18-hole, 3-par golf course - which has a popular two-deck driving range and a landmark statue of a huge golfer, would be shut down.
Nearby, the Don Dominguez apartments, a 64-unit complex at 19702-19822 S. Main St., has recently been vacated and will be demolished in the next few weeks to make way for the Porsche facility, Hoyos said.
The site also is located close to a massive planned commercial and residential project called Boulevards at South Bay. That
157-acre site, near Del Amo Boulevard and Main Street, is also occupied by former landfills. It is undergoing extensive environmental remediation now.
Porsche Experience Center Los Angeles will feature a world-class test track and handling course where drivers can practice maneuvering on rain, ice and snow. A section called Ice Hill will have a steep slope and water jets. Another off-road area will include 45-degree declines and ascents.
Porsche officials say it will be open to "high-performance cars."
Porsche Cars North America President and CEO Detlev von Platen said the track will offer Southern California - one of the company's largest markets nationwide - an opportunity to realize the limits of their vehicles.
"Helping enthusiasts feel and connect with their vehicle's full potential through intelligent engineering has always been a part of the Porsche philosophy," von Platen said. "Now, we are excited to turn dreams into reality for all driving enthusiasts by creating a safe, exhilarating environment for experiencing the pleasure of being in the driver's seat."
Once opened, people will be able to purchase sessions with Porsche driving consultants. Programs for new drivers and teenagers also will be available.
The center also will feature a gift shop, cafe, and an athletic training facility for people interested in experiencing how professional drivers train - including heat acclimation training and hydration strategies.
Leading architectural partners Giffels/IBI and Tilke Engineering are designing the driving facilities. Tilke is a German firm that designed the Bahrain International Circuit, Turkey's Istanbul Park and the Korean International Circuit, among other projects.
Part of the 53-acre site where Porsche's Experience Center will be erected was under much scrutiny over the summer because residents at Don Dominguez apartments protested their forced evictions.
Although apartment San Miguel Apartments Inc. had already agreed to vacate the buildings, which they took ownership of in 1988, the company embarked on a publicity campaign to keep the complex open this summer. The owners hung large signs on the building that read: "Don't Demolish Our Homes" and residents attended City Council meetings pleading for a reprieve.
Ultimately, Watson Land Co. took over the buildings and paid residents relocation assistance to smooth the transition. DailyBreeze.com