Seattle is in the process of replacing their outdated North Precinct building, but under the project’s current cost estimate the new structure will set the city back $149.2 million. Even after a recent cost reduction (down from an original estimate of $160 million) that will make it the most expensive police building in the country.
Among the recent cost adjustments to the original plan were the removing one level of the parking bay, opting out of finishing the basement, and removing rooftop solar arrays. Construction costs are expected to number $92.5 million, while development costs will run $52.6 million. Another $14.3 million was allocated for the cost of land acquisition as well as the cost of relocating the site’s current tenants at Aurora Avenue North and North 130th Street (namely, a car dealership and several office buildings).
The high cost of the new building has raised red flags for many residents. According to The Seattle Times, the project was initially only expected to cost $88.5 million, and the new figure might still be more than the city can afford. The Times points out that the city is also badly in need of new sidewalks, which the city claimed not to have the money to build.
The Portland-based firm SRG Partnership is leading the architecture and design team, having won a Request for Qualifications in 2014. Turner Construction, which is headquartered in New York but has a Seattle office, will be the general contractor and construction manager. The predesign phase started in 2014.
Plans for the new precinct building call for a 105,000 square foot facility with a life span of 30 to 50 years. The building will accommodate projected staff growth through 2038; it will also be used by the community in emergency situations and will be built above typical standards for withstanding an earthquake. LEED Gold certification is another goal for the project.
The current schedule calls for construction to begin in 2017 and finish in 2019. The Seattle city council is expected to approve the design, but may require further cuts to the overall cost.