FEATURED PHOTO: TONY BRANCATELLI WARD-12
Ideastream.org, By Nick Castele, Posted December 3rd 2019
Cleveland officials say they don’t know how much it will cost to build a new police headquarters along the Opportunity Corridor, but it may exceed the $60 million originally slated for the project.
At a Monday morning committee meeting last week, city council members pressed administration officials to provide cost estimates and explain why police now plan to move their center of operations outside Downtown.
“Is it prudent for us to lock into a location if we don’t know the cost?” Councilman Tony Brancatelli asked at the meeting.
City officials said they would develop cost estimates as consultants drew up designs for the project.
“Once we get into the design, and kind of what the police department is looking for, we can better say what this is going to cost,” said Sharon Dumas, Mayor Frank Jackson’s acting chief of staff.
The new plan for the police headquarters could cost more than the $60 million authorized for an earlier version of the project, she said. That amount, Dumas said, was based on the building costs for similar projects in other cities.
In June 2018, city officials announced they would take up residence in cleveland.com’s office space on 1801 Superior Ave., ranking the building highest out of 24 potential sites.
The city abruptly pulled out of those plans that fall. A year passed with few details, until the city announced this month that it had a new vision: building a police headquarters from the ground up, along the Opportunity Corridor road project that will eventually connect I-490 with University Circle.
Mayor’s Office of Capital Projects Director Matthew Spronz told council that the new location, largely vacant land near the corner of East 75th Street and Grand Avenue, offers the city room to expand over time.
“The extra space gives us more of a campus-type feel, so we can have multiple facilities there and allow for the existing parking that we have to have,” he said.
The city plans to begin construction in 2021, finishing the project in 2023.