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Police department to evaluate cost of new headquarters building

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(photo by Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)
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The St. Louis police department is eying the old AG Edwards building on Olive for a new headquarters

By Rachel Lippmann, St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis – The board that oversees the St. Louis Police Department will decide next month on a firm to evaluate how much it will cost to purchase and retrofit a vacant downtown office building for a possible new headquarters.

Chief Dan Isom told the Board of Police Commissioners last year that the current headquarters needs $15 million in emergency repairs. And on Wednesday, the Board approved an increase in a maintenance contract for the air conditioning units.

The department has never had enough money to keep up with the maintenance at the current headquarters, Isom said. The 81-year-old building is a block away from the Scottrade Center.

"I think fiscally for the department it's an issue of do you want to sink more money into a structure that has some very serious problems, or do you want to buy an existing building or some other structure that ultimately will save the police department some money," he said.

The board is eying AG Edwards' old headquarters on Olive. The real estate company CB Richard Ellis has listed the property for $10.5 million. The department could use asset forfeiture money to purchase the building, Isom said, and has some funds left over from a bond sale to make any upgrades.

The city's crime lab, police academy and communications building would remain in the current location.

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