Mayor Buddy Dyer and the City of Orlando are planning a new $43 million police headquarters at South Street and South Orange Blossom Trail. Police Chief Paul Rooney has stated on the record the new headquarters will be smaller than the existing headquarters on Hughey Avenue downtown. The new building will accommodate less than half of the current officers and staff than the current existing headquarters.
Of course, the new police station is needed because of another bad deal by Mayor Dyer regarding the Orlando Magic entertainment complex. The deal with the Magic will cost Orlando big – and now even more with a $43 million price tag for a new building (and like most other development in Orlando, the real cost to taxpayers is likely to increase). The City of Orlando sold the current police headquarters for less than $13 million.
The plans for a modern-looking building also don’t seem to fit in with the South Orange Blossom Trail area. The plans clearly fit in with Dyer’s plan to completely redevelop the area, but with the City of Orlando facing a $52 million budget crisis and looming cuts in public services, timing is not the only questionable concern with the proposal.
The area likely needs environmental cleanup and remediation of contamination, however the City is not mentioning those details or potential costs. The site currently houses a Lynx refueling and maintenance area.