Tour Proposed District Five Replacement Building

Mar 15, 2017

Some Cincinnati Council Members and police officers say the District Five headquarters is small, outdated, and unhealthy. City administrators recommend renovating a nearby facility into a new station.

The city's old permit building on Central Parkway was originally built as a bank with a thick cement roof and floors. Administrators and council members like Kevin Flynn say that makes it an ideal choice to house a new District Five headquarters.  

The old permit building's cement roof peeks out along the eaves.
Credit Tana Weingartner / WVXU

"It was built secure," says Flynn. "The construction is very solid. To try and replicate that in today's dollars would be cost prohibitive. But it gives those officers and the facility a certain level of security that necessary and appropriate."

Renovating is projected to cost $7-10 million and would include additional security features and a new HVAC system.

Administrators say a new building would cost $20 million and take more than two years to complete.

Law and Public Safety Committee Chair Christopher Smitherman says the site is ideal. "The city owns it so it's either going to be an economic development site or the city's going to re-purpose it. I think it's a novel idea."

He likes the size as well. "The square footage of this facility is 28,000 square feet. District Five is currently around 10,000 square feet," Smitherman says.

A bank vault testifies to the building's original purpose as a bank. The door has been disabled so it no longer functions.
Credit Tana Weingartner / WVXU

Council Member Yvette Simpson wants opinions on the location before deciding.

"I'm curious to hear from our police department about the ramifications of potentially moving further away from the center of the district," says Simpson.

The current District Five headquarters, which serves Clifton Heights-University Heights-Fairview, Camp Washington, Clifton, Northside, Winton Hills, Winton Place, College Hill, and Mt. Airy, is located at Central Parkway and the Ludlow Viaduct.

Simpson would also like a public hearing and Smitherman agrees that is in the works.

Parking could be a challenge, with about 90 spots for more than 150 officers plus support staff.

The city says there's lots of open space that can be configured any way police officers need.
Credit Tana Weingartner / WVXU