Photo by Jon Anderson
Police training site option
The Hoover City Council is considering leasing this 10,000-square-foot building at 3515 Lorna Ridge Drive for use as a police training facility. Police officials estimate it would take $600,000 to retrofit the building.
The Hoover City Council on Monday is scheduled to consider whether to pay $523,000 over the next 11 years to lease a 10,000-square-foot office and warehouse for a police training facility.
The Police Department currently is using the former Berry Middle/High School off Columbiana Road as a training site, but the school system is attempting to sell that school campus to the Vestavia Hills Board of Education.
Hoover Executive Director Allen Pate at a Thursday night work session told the council the two parties are waiting on a federal judge to sign off on the deal, at which point the Police Department will need to find another place to train.
Jehad Al-Dakka, the Police Department’s executive officer, said the department actually has been thinking about finding an alternative location for about 1½ years anyway because they are outgrowing the space they have at the old Berry campus.
The site under consideration for leasing is a vacant office/warehouse at 3515 Lorna Ridge Drive, off Rocky Ridge Road and Lynngate Drive.
The proposal the council is considering is an 11-year lease, with the first year free. Rent for years 2-6 would be $51,600 a year, while rent for years 7-11 would be $53,000 a year, Pate said.
At the end of the 11 years, the city would have the option to purchase the property for its appraised value, plus $51,600 (the value of the first year’s free rent), and minus the cost of any improvements the city makes to the property. An architect has estimated it would cost about $600,000 to retrofit the building for use as a police training facility, Al-Dakka said.
The plan, if the council gives approval, is for the Police Department to use about $300,000 from its drug recovery fund for renovations and for the city to use other funds to pick up the other half of the cost, Al-Dakka said.
Pate said the office/warehouse currently is valued at about $500,000 and that the lease/purchase agreement provides that the current owner would be guaranteed at least $350,000 if the city buys the property at the end of the lease.
Council President Jack Wright asked why the city doesn’t just buy the property now instead of paying out $523,000 in rent before buying it. Pate said that the building is in a trust and that the owner, Bite Family Partnership LTD, doesn’t want to sell it right now.
Councilman Jack Natter asked Al-Dakka what other options the Police Department has considered for training space, and Al-Dakka said there were no other options being considered. This particular site is not far from the Police Operations Building on Lorna Road and would be convenient for officers, he said.
If the sale of the old Berry school campus goes through, Hoover police have received permission to use the Homewood police and Shelby County Sheriff’s Office training sites temporarily until a permanent site can be found, Al-Dakka said.
In other business Monday, the Hoover City Council is scheduled to consider:
- A budget amendment to allocate $545,313 for costs related to the $80 million warrant issue for the new sports complex next to Hoover Metropolitan Stadium and $270,000 for an armored rescue vehicle for the Hoover Police Department, and to reallocate $30,000 from the Bluff Park sidewalk project to a pipe replacement and resurfacing project on Hugh Daniel Drive.
- Zoning 18 acres off Alabama 119 near Greystone as a community business district. The property is owned by EBSCO is part of a larger 75-acre tract called Tattersall Park, which EBSCO hopes to develop for retail stores, office buildings, restaurants, hotels and medical facilities.
- Authorizing the mayor to sign an agreement that will allow the Hoover Police Department to put a radio antenna on top of a water tower owned by the City of Helena at 4664 South Shades Crest Road.
- Requests from: Formosa Chinese Restaurant to sell liquor at 2109 Lorna Ridge Lane; Taste of Thailand to sell liquor at 3321 Lorna Road, Suite 3; Vecchia Pizzeria and Mercato to sell liquor at 610 Preserve Parkway, Suite 100; Fred’s Store No. 1840 to sell beer and wine for consumption off the premises at 3317 Lorna Road.
- Setting public hearings for Sept. 6 to consider requests to allow SkyZone Sports to put a trampoline park in the former Staples location at 1694 Montgomery Highway and the City of Vestavia Hills to build a road through Lot 7 of International Park to allow access to a park being developed by Vestavia Hills on the site of the former Altadena Valley Country Club.