New third district police department to open

James W. Wade III | 10/30/2013, 9:06 a.m.
The 3rd District stretches from the east bank of the Cuyahoga River to Little Italy which also includes the University ...

The new 3rd District Police Headquarters is ready to move forward. The groundbreaking took place at 4501 Chester Ave. with Mayor Frank Jackson, Cleveland Police Chief Michael McGrath and Councilman Jeff Johnson.

The new station will be three floors totaling 61,413 square feet. The first and second floors will house all 3rd District police functions and service units. The third floor will be the new home for the citywide public safety communications headquarters for police, fire and EMS dispatchers and call takers.

Construction is scheduled to begin the first week of November and is expected to be complete in the spring of 2015. Estimated construction time is 18 months.

Panzica Construction will be completing the job. The total cost for the construction project is $16,817,000. The city’s Community Benefits Agreement (CBA) is in effect for this project, including all laws and policies governing resident employment and utilization of MBE/FBE/CSB contractors, prevailing wage, local producers and sustainable development.

“This is a wonderful day for the Cleveland Division of Police,” said Police Chief Michael McGrath. McGrath also talked about the building, “This is the first building, the only police building that will have a community room. If this isn’t community policing, I don’t know what is.”

The contractor will make a good faith effort to hire graduates of pre-apprentice programs, like those at Max Hayes, Hard Hatted Women and Job Corps.

The stations special features will include the lockers of two 3rd District police officers who died in the line of duty will be installed in the new facility to help keep their memory alive.

The building will have a community room and safe room and is designed to be energy efficient and meet LEED silver standards.

The old station located at 10700 Chester has been on the corner for years. It’s been called to question why they never expanded onto the old Call & Post Newspaper site.

Mayor Jackson addressed that by saying “It’s functional. It needs a lot of work. There’s a lot to be desired.”

The 3rd District stretches from the east bank of the Cuyahoga River to Little Italy which also includes the University Circle, who has their own police department.

The new $17.5 million facility is slated to be built on the former Ward Bakery site at Chester and E. 45th Street. This is the first new police station to be built in the city of Cleveland in more than thirty years.

The new station would consolidate the existing 3rd District police station at Chester and E. 107th Street and the administrative offices located at Payne and E. 21st Street.

The station would also make the neighborhood safer without negatively impacting response times to surrounding areas, leaders say. The long vacant site would be infused with new life that could catalyze development in the area.

Ward 8 Councilman Jeff Johnson promised that the project would help to break down barriers between residents and police by emphasizing community policing and offering a welcoming environment.

Midtown Cleveland, which can access grant funding such as New Markets Tax Credits that the city is not eligible for, will develop the property and gradually transfer it to the city. The building will be a green structure that is LEED certified (Leadership in Energy, Efficiency and Design) and will save the city money.