RIVIERA BEACH, Fla. — The City of Riviera Beach has come up with a new plan to relocate its police headquarters and city leaders are looking for residents to weigh in.
City staff is currently exploring the idea of moving the police station from W. Blue Heron Boulevard to the BB&T Building, located at 2001 Broadway Avenue. City Manager Jonathan Evans said the lease to own proposal if passed, would save time and cost less than building a new police station which he estimates to be anywhere from $35 million to $45 million.
“So, we’re looking at ways to redevelop parcels that we have already in the city’s inventory so we can defray some of the cost and don’t have to go to the taxpayers or private market or public market to find funds to help facilitate the cost," said Evans. "The facility would be completely renovated, we will take it down to the studs, we will review the structural integrity of the building we will make sure that it's completely up to code and that it operates as a brand-new facility."
The parcel on Broadway Avenue is approximately 2.27 acres and the physical structures on the property equate to about 64,000 square feet.
For more than a decade, the police department has been dealing with its fair share of water leaks and damages at its current station on West Blue Heron Boulevard. In addition to safety concerns, there’s also a need for more space.
"It's definitely not normal for a police agency to have their investigation section, its traffic division, background, and a few other departments separated in different buildings which is one of the things we are struggling with," said Major Steven Thomas. "It’s not as efficient as we would like for it to be, because we have those divisions that are separated from the main headquarters."
Starting this month, the city will begin hosting community meetings to allow residents an opportunity to give feedback share any concerns.
Plans are also in the works to obtain a structural analysis of the existing facility, develop a proposed term sheet and construction timeline and provide funding options and a cost-benefit analysis/value-for-money analysis to present to the Council later this year.
Constructing a new police station is just one component of the city’s innovative campaign, entitled “Reimagine Riviera Beach.”
The city plans to reconstruct city facilities that are in desperate need of attention. Many of the facilities were built in the 1970s and have not seen any significant improvements since. As a result, these facilities can no longer accommodate the growing needs of city operations, therefore the city has taken significant steps to address this matter.
As part of the initiative, the Utility Special District Board on Nov. 16 selected The Haskell Company and CDM Smith to replace its current antiquated 63-year-old plant, 800 Blue Heron Blvd., that processes water with outdated technology with a $100 million to $150 million state-of-the-art facility that uses the latest filtration technology.
The City Council also agreed to build a new City Hall at a preferred location on Broadway Avenue and allocated $1.5 million to make the move from the older facility on Blue Heron Boulevard. The city plans to break ground on its Centennial Birthday on Sept. 29.