CINCINNATI -- City Manager Harry Black wants to relocate the headquarters for Police District Five to the former Permit Center on Central Parkway.
The project is estimated to cost $7.65 million and would be completed by May 2019, Black wrote in a memo released Wednesday. The cost is less than the $17 million to $20 million likely needed to build an entirely new facility, he said.
Police officers and union leaders have raised concerns recently about the current District Five building on Ludlow Avenue, including reports of issues like bugs, mold and asbestos. One sign stated that 13 people "got cancer at D5."
"I would refuse to work in this building," City Councilmember Wendell Young said after touring the building in December.
There's also not enough parking.
The Permit Center, at 3300 Central Parkway, is located in the Clifton neighborhood, like District Five's current facility. It would be completely renovated for the Police Department, Black said, and construction would begin in July 2018.
There's room for 134 employees and parking for 90. The city would need to add 50 more parking spaces, Black said, but that cost is included in the $7.65 million estimate.
"I am thankful that the concerns of the District Five officers have been taken seriously," Sgt. Dan Hils, president of the Fraternal Order of Police, said Wednesday. "Ideally the move could occur sooner. I look forward to learning more about the plan and hearing the reaction of our officers working in District Five."
The building has sat vacant since the permit offices moved to Centennial II, across the street form City Hall, in November 2015. Cinergy, a sucessor to Cincinnati Gas and Electric, sold the property to the city in fall 2003 for $2.1 million, according to Hamilton County property records. Cincinnati's first centralized permit office opened there the following spring.