To accommodate the accelerated schedule, the City's goal has been to authorize purchase of a site by the end of 2013. On Dec. 16, 2013, the City Council approved legislation authorizing the acquisition of three parcels - located at the southeast corner of Aurora Avenue North and North 130th Street - for a new North Precinct Police Station. The City of Seattle intends to acquire ownership of this property either through a negotiated settlement or, if necessary, using its power of eminent domain (condemnation) for public use. Using the action of condemnation keeps the project on track and there may be favorable tax advantages to the sellers as well.
In September 2013, the City of Seattle announced it had identified property as the recommended site for a new police station to serve the north precinct. As programming discussions with the Seattle Police Department to understand how it wishes to operate in a new facility and what kind of space is required for current and future needs progress, it became clear that obtaining the whole block is desirable on numerous fronts. These discussions indicated the City needs more space to accommodate future growth for the department and potential relocation of other functions, such as the indoor range, police academy classrooms and other compatible uses. As a result, the legislation the Council adopted in December 2013 authorizes purchasing all three parcels within this block.
The site of the future police station consists of three adjoining property parcels totaling 4.1 acres:
- One parcel is currently occupied by a preowned automobile dealership.
- One parcel, while mostly a vacant lot, also has an older office building, warehouse and ancillary buildings on it.
- One parcel contains an office building.
Working with the Seattle Police Department (SPD), the Department of Finance and Administrative Services (FAS) began the site search by evaluating more than 26 properties in North Seattle based on these requirements:
- Meets SPD's operational needs
- 3.2-4.5 acres; appropriate zoning
- Location offers:
- good access to I-5, north-south and east-west arterials
- proximity to areas of high police activity
- quality radio reception
- Minimal site contamination/clean-up preferred
- Consideration for impact to existing businesses
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, which was announced in September 2013. A community open house to discuss the project was held on Oct. 26, 2013.
A project status update, including information regarding the recommended site, was presented to the City Council Government Performance and Finance Committee on Sept. 18.