Local News

Future of old Raleigh police headquarters still in limbo

Posted July 10, 2014

— Four years after the Raleigh Police Department relocated its headquarters from downtown to an old insurance building approximately 7 miles away, the former shell of the Capital City's police force still sits vacant while city leaders wait for recommendations on what to do with the property.

Police moved to its current location at 6716 Six Forks Road from 110 S. McDowell St. in 2010 as part of a plan to replace the building with a $205 million state-of-the-art public safety center that would house the police department and all the city's other emergency services.

But the project plan was abandoned because some considered it too costly and controversial. With the exception of about five to 10 police training exercises each year, the building sits unused.

"Two consultants are working right now, helping us with economic valuation of our downtown holdings to make trade-offs about whether this one’s better to sale or to develop for our own purposes," said Assistant City Manager Dan Howe.

Consultants are also looking at the city's future space needs for downtown employees, which currently work out of at least three buildings in the downtown area.

The City Council should receive a report in the fall, Howe says, and could then begin developing a plan about what to do with the building.

"If that building were in better shape than it is, we'd be in it right now," he said, noting that the number of city employees is growing.

But it's unfit for business. Among the many problems, Howe says, are asbestos and an unusable heating, ventilation and air-conditioning system that would have to be replaced at a seven-figure price tag.

"The building was in rough shape to start off with," he said. "Even when the police were there, it was not the best building to occupy, and it's gotten worse. We're probably talking millions of dollars to get it back to an inhabitable condition."

Mayor Nancy McFarlane says she would like to see the property put to good use but points out that the building's footprint is small, making it challenging for any development on its own.

"I think we need to think about that particular spot in the context of the whole block," she said. "How does the block fit in with the future of the city?"

Whatever the plans for the space, it won't come soon enough for Raleigh residents like Casey Teel.

"I've often wondered what that building is, but I have no idea," Teel said. "It doesn't make any sense to leave something dormant like that."


This story is closed for comments.

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  • Bill Brasky Jul 11, 2014

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    They had a solution several years ago, however conservatives in the city counsel didn't want to flip the bill, and offered no alternatives for a police headquarters in one of the fastest growing cities in the nation.

    This is the results, we had an overcrowded office building loaded with asbestos and no other options but to rent. The new one they are building, the RPD is expected to outgrow in 20 years. Poor city planning.

  • doser Jul 11, 2014

    Typical of our local politicians. Move out without a solution to the building that is currently occupied. Just like the Wake County School building on Wake Forest Rd.
    Move to a rented building in Cary and leave a building owned by the county unoccupied. Don't worry our tax money will foot the bill. Talk about inept management and these politicians will come to us with a straight face time and again asking for a tax increase. Make due with what you have like the rest of us, the tax payers are not a limited less ATM.

  • dwntwnboy2 Jul 11, 2014

    "funny that the asbestos and HVAC system weren't that big of a problem when people were actually working in he building but now that's it's vacan't, they don't want to put anybody back in there"- but those things WERE an issue. They were part of the reason they moved out of the building and planned to tear it down. The story even mentions that the building was in poor shape when the police were still there.

  • Donald Holder Jul 10, 2014
    user avatar

    It's kinda funny that the asbestos and HVAC system weren't that big of a problem when people were actually working in he building but now that's it's vacan't, they don't want to put anybody back in there. Move the employees from the rented buildings and put them in one the city owns.