Latest on new police HQ: City will vote on architect for $12M project

News-DemocratApril 19, 2014 

— Weeks after the announcement of plans for a new police station, Belleville city leaders are dealing with delays on finalizing the purchase of the Bank of Belleville building and negotiations for land for parking and moving tenants.

The City Council voted in February to buy the building at 720 W. Main St. for $3.1 million.

Mayor Mark Eckert also estimated the cost of retrofitting the building for Police Department headquarters to be about $7 million and improvements to City Hall to be $5 million.

The council will vote at a 7 p.m. Monday meeting whether to accept the findings of a St. Louis firm's study on the project and to hire it as the architect.

Here's an update, with what you need to know about the project:

$1.5 million -- Cost to hire the Lawrence Group as project architect.

$45,000 -- The Lawrence Group is reducing their fee for the feasibility study instead of the contracted cost, $96,247. The city hired the firm in August to study various sites. The firm found 720 W. Main St. as the best location for police headquarters.

Mid-June -- When the city is likely to close on 720 W. Main. The Bank of Belleville, the main tenant, plans to relocate within the city.

Three months -- Preliminary project drawings will be available.

$19.5 million -- City's total budget for buying, retrofitting the police station site; buying and building parking garage site and remodeling City Hall.

$400,000 -- Listed sale price of 2.7 acres where the city wants an indoor police parking garage. City leaders are negotiating with Richland Plaza III LLC and Balke Brown Associates. The St. Clair County Assessor's Office lists the 2013 fair market value of the land at $154,914.

23 years -- City leaders also are negotiating with the Bank of Belleville, which has the option of a series of three-year leases at 720 W. Main for up to 23 years.

720 W. Main St. -- First floor of the 40,000-square-foot building will be a new dispatch center, jail and meeting room; patrol and evidence will be on the second floor and administration and detectives on the top floor. A sally port and enclosed parking for about 60 vehicles will be built.

101 S. Illinois St. -- City Hall will be remodeled to comply with disability standards. The Council Chambers will be expanded and include a second exit for emergencies. The Housing Department, now a block away, will move into former police offices. Police annex might be demolished for parking.

Spring 2017 -- Expected completion date of the new police station, police parking garage and City Hall.

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