CLEVELAND — The City of Cleveland's long and winding journey to select a new headquarters for its Division of Police may soon come to an end as the city has selected the ArtCraft building as its top pick.
The 250,000-square-foot, seven-story building, which was constructed in 1920 according to county records, is located at 2530 Superior Ave.
According to the city, negotiations are in the works with TurnDev Development, and legislation is expected to be ready for presentation and approval by council members early next year.
The building will need to be gutted and rehabbed, the city said. The remodel of the building would include a new roof, parking garage and interior as well as other upgrades.
“This site presents the best combination of location, timing, functionality, and cost while meeting the needs of our Division of Police,” said Mayor Justin Bibb. “I appreciate the hard work and due diligence of the team to ensure we deliver on this important project.”
City officials said the building can be converted into a "world-class home for CDP" within its budget. Moving into the building will save Cleveland around $40 million, according to the city, compared to its previously chosen site at the intersection of East 75th Street and Opportunity Corridor.
Ward 8 Cleveland Councilman and safety committee member Michael Polensek told News 5 there were two other sites he thought would be more appropriate and said the ArtCraft building will first have to meet specific criteria before it goes up for a city council vote.
“The Plain Dealer building would have been my first site and then to the east of the FBI Headquarters would have been my second location, which I thought made the most sense," Polnesek said. “With the ArtCraft building, the question is can it meet our needs? The building has to be a hardened target, we have to be able to put in all the up-to-date technology in that structure as well. There’s got to be sufficient parking.”
Polensek told News 5 city council hopes to take a fact-finding tour of the building within the next several weeks.
Jeff Epstein, the City of Cleveland Chief of Integrated Development, told News 5 he believes the ArtCraft Building is the right choice.
“It’s really a great fit for our police headquarters, a combination of location on Superior Avenue, high visibility and transit corridor," Epstein said. “From a timing perspective, we can get in a year-and-a-half, two years sooner than the opportunity corridor site."
“We’re working on an older building with a team which has just done a building renovation up the street, Cross Country Mortgage, a similar vintage building, so we feel pretty good with the team," Epstein added. These old buildings are really built like a tank."
"Some of the other sites we were looking at we would have had to beef up the structure, this building, the entire building qualifies based on the way it was built," Epstein said. "Plenty of access for the public, both on transit and coming and driving, with a parking deck behind and this building sets up really nice with public access to the building that also provides a secure access for our police.”
The city held a ceremonial groundbreaking at that site last December. The opportunity corridor site was selected in 2019. Since then, the city has looked for other alternative properties that could save it time and money.
Included in the $40 million the city would save with the ArtCraft building — around $9 million it spent on designing, engineering and consulting costs of the unused Opportunity Corridor site will transfer to the new space since the work "can be translated to the ArtCraft building."
Additionally, the city said by using an existing structure, CPD could move to its new location in 2025—nearly two years earlier than the Opportunity Corridor site. This would also save the city money as it currently leases its headquarters at the Justice Center from the county.
The move would also allow the city to use its Public Safety Center and the Opportunity Corridor location for other "revenue-generating uses," the city said.
“We support the ArtCraft building recommendation and are excited about moving forward,” said Police Chief Wayne Drummond. “This new location will benefit our future direction tremendously, allowing us to not only move into our permanent home sooner but also increase efficiency by having all HQ functions under one roof.”
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