City of Seattle identifies site for new North Precinct police station
SEATTLE - The city of Seattle has identified property - located at the southeast corner of Aurora Avenue North and North 130th Street - as the recommended site for a new police station to serve the north precinct. Council review and approval of legislation authorizing the property acquisition, including a public hearing, is expected in December 2013.
"The Seattle Police Department outgrew its current north precinct police station long ago, and now, with the improving economy, we're in a position to do something about it," said Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn. "We've found a site for a new station that will meet all of SPD's operational needs and even offer space for community use. I encourage everyone interested to attend the city's fall open house to learn more about the project."
On Saturday, Oct. 26, the city will host a community open house to provide more information on the site selection process, how the site meets SPD's operational needs, the development schedule, and future opportunities for public comment. The open house will be from 10 a.m. to noon at the Bitter Lake Community Center gym, 13035 Linden Ave. N.
"Being on the corner of major arterials with good access to I-5, and offering enough space to build a station that will meet our needs for decades to come - this site offers the best location for the Seattle Police Department's north-end operations," said Interim Chief of Police Jim Pugel.
In response to Council direction last fall, the Department of Finance and Administrative Services is accelerating the project to site, design and build a new police station for Seattle's north end. With a goal of opening a new station in late 2018, FAS is looking for ways to compress the siting and development timeline. Acquiring a site by early 2014 is just one thing the city can do.
FAS is also assembling an architecture and engineering design team so building predesign can begin this year, instead of waiting for purchase of an actual site. Negotiations with SRG Partnership, chosen through a competitive process to lead the architecture and engineering team, are under way. To further accelerate the schedule, the facility will be constructed under the GC/CM process (general contractor/construction manager selected early in design process vs. traditional design-bid-build). FAS anticipates having the general contractor on board by next fall.
The need for a new north precinct police station was first identified in a 1998 program study of the SPD's Master Plan and further supported by a 2002 feasibility study. The existing station, located at 10049 College Way N. was built in 1984 to house 154 staff and is now home to 254. The size and shape of the property prohibits adequate expansion at its current location. The approximately 40+ additional SPD personnel and functions currently housed in roughly 15,000 square feet of north-end leased space will be relocated to the new station when it opens.
Working with SPD to ensure the new location meets their operational needs, FAS began the site search by evaluating more than 26 properties in north Seattle. Based on criteria such as parcel size, zoning and access to I-5 and north-south/east-west arterials, the search quickly narrowed to four potential sites. Following additional due diligence efforts, such as conversations with property owners and preliminary environmental reviews, FAS and SPD narrowed the choice to one recommended site.
The property of the future police station consists of two adjoining parcels, one of which is currently occupied by a preowned automobile dealership. The other, while mostly a vacant lot, also has an older office building, warehouse and ancillary buildings on it. FAS will provide relocation assistance for displaced tenants and owners.
FAS' 2013-2014 budget includes $18.3 million to pay for site selection, due diligence and land acquisition for a new facility. Because the site itself impacts design and construction costs, the city does not yet have a firm estimate for what it will cost to build this new facility and a funding source beyond 2014 will be identified in the 2015/2016 budget process. Spending in 2013 and 2014 is covered largely by long-term general obligation bonds.
The city will decide what to do with the old station through its normal property disposition process.
Visit the New North Precinct Station project website for more information and to sign up for the project's listserv.
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