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Towne South Removed From Potential TPD HQ List; Northwood, Lake Bradford Named Site Finalists

There are now two finalists for a re-located Tallahassee Police Station. The City commission narrowed its list down to the old Northwood Mall on North Monroe Street, and the former Lake Bradford Wastewater Treatment plant. earlier this year a plan to put TPD on the South side was met with opposition from area residents, but even though that plan is off the table, it remains a point of contention.

Both the Wastewater Treatment Plant and the old mall are owned by the city. It acquired Northwood in April for nearly $7 million. The city’s next step is to get more community input and drawings for each location. No timeframe has been set.

Southside residents that wanted the police headquarters at the Towne South Shopping Center wore shirts to show their support for the idea.

"There was an upstart group [of] people who came together under the opposition and framed the whole South Side as being against it. So tonight, the first myth to decry is that the South Side is against the project," said local realtor Christic Henry.

That plan was shelved earlier this year after public hearings where resident complaints led the city commission to consider other locations. 

"One, the costs was expensive," said Stanley Sims who also expressed worries about whether black residents in the area could be subject to over-policing. "And three, [there's] this false sense of economic boost is going to come to them."

Mayor John Dailey added that  plan also came with a hefty price tag. At the time it was under consideration—it would have cost the city more than $5 million to buy the property.

"I’d be willing to bet the purchase price of Towne South now would not be $5.5 million," he said. "Plus, you add into the fact that there are long term leases that need to be bought out which, I believe, the estimated value is another $1 million or $2 million dollars’ rough...one-third of the parking lot is in the FEMA Flood Zone. It is not a good business investment."

There was some support to keep TPD at its present location at Lake Ella, but that is no longer an option. Right now, TPD is located in an old school that’s about 90 years old.

Blaise Gainey is a State Government Reporter for WFSU News. Blaise hails from Windermere, Florida. He graduated from The School of Journalism at the Florida A&M University. He formerly worked for The Florida Channel, WTXL-TV, and before graduating interned with WFSU News. He is excited to return to the newsroom. In his spare time he enjoys watching sports, Netflix, outdoor activities and anything involving his daughter.