“We promised to keep these projects moving and get them finished as fast as possible,” said Fenty. “We are continually working to manage our public facilities more efficiently. In many of these cases we will save millions of dollars over the long term by moving our operations out of leased space and into government-owned facilities.”
The first project facing such a move will be the Metropolitan Police Department’s First District HQ, which will relocate from 415 4th Street, SW to one of the District’s recently closed public schools, Southwest’s Bowen Elementary. In the seven months since the school was shuttered, the Office of Public Education Facilities Modernization and the Office of Property Management renovated to make a building once inadequate for fifth graders suitable for crime scene investigators. A figure for the cost of said renovation was not disclosed by the Mayor.
Following the move, the police facility’s current incarnation in turn will be razed to make way for a new $220 million, six-story, 240,000 square foot Comprehensive Forensics Lab (originally solicited as the Consolidated Forensic Laboratory). The building, which had initially been scheduled for construction last December, will consolidate the now disparate offices of the Chief Medical Examiner, Public Health Laboratory and MPD Forensic Services Division following its expected completion in late 2011.
Fenty also provided an update on the status of the proposals for the redevelopment of Fire Engine Company 13, just around the corner, at 450 6th Street, SW – a site the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development announced it was vetting for a new firehouse, along with 465,000 square feet of mixed-use development, last June. According to ODMPED, they are still evaluating the three submitted proposals (from JLH Partners, Chapman Development, and CDC Companies; Trammell Crow, CSG Urban Partners, and Michele Hagans; and Potomac Investment Properties, City Partners, and Adams Investment Group) and will make a selection “late next month.” In the meantime, they’ll be holding a community meeting outlining the pitches tomorrow, February 25th at 800 Water Street, SW.
Lastly, Fenty announced new plans for a 30,000 square foot MPD Evidence Warehouse at DC Village, a family-oriented emergency shelter on Village Lane, SW that was closed following accusations of "inhumane" conditions. It was noted that the District hopes to save additional funds by moving their current stock from leased space to the government-owned parcel.