The Coral Gables Police Department isn’t leaving its current building just yet, but if it moves, a future owner will have more flexibility to develop the space.
Commissioners gave initial approval to measures that change the current police department headquarters, 2801 Salzedo St., from public building use to commercial high rise and from special-use zoning to commercial zoning.
The changes come almost a year after the city said it might build a new police headquarters on a city-owned parking lot at the corner of Salzedo Street and Alcazar Avenue.
City Manager Cathy Swanson-Rivenbark said her staff plans to present the latest recommendations at a future meeting. The zoning and land-use changes would not prevent the space from continuing to operate as police headquarters.
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“A government building can be in a commercial area. A commercial building cannot be in a government area,” Swanson-Rivenbark said. “It doesn’t preclude our operation of 2801 [Salzedo] as a government facility.”
City staff estimated the cost of building a new facility on another lot or renovating the current building at $17 million to $33.5 million last year. Those estimates and proposals would also put the fire station that’s housed at the public safety building on Salzedo in the new building or create a new stand-alone fire station there.
Both items will require a second vote at a future meeting before they become official.