LPD moving out of North Precinct

By Andy Balaskovitz
North Precinct. City Pulse file photo.

Lease expires Aug. 31 at the building in Prudden Tech Centre; city reportedly wants to move operations to far south side

Friday, Feb. 28 —The city of Lansing is going to move out of the North Precinct police station by the time its lease expires on Aug. 31.

In a short letter sent Wednesday by Chad Gamble, the city’s chief operating officer, to Stephen Purchase, vice president of H Inc., the city says it “will not be executing the five year renewal option” for the building at 740 May St., between Oakland Avenue and Saginaw Street just west of Pennsylvania Avenue. Purchase works for developer Harry Hepler, whose Summit Street Development Co. owns the building.

“As such, it is our understanding that the current lease agreement for that property will terminate on August 31, 2014.”

Gamble could not immediately be reached for comment.

The city has leased the space from Hepler for 15 years, paying more than $300,000 a year for rent. The Bernero administration has said the ultimate goal is to move into a building the city owns.

Based on media reports, it appears the department wants to move its patrol division and investigations bureau into the Lansing School District’s Hill Center on Wise Road near Interstate 96. The State Journal reported a week ago that the city would spend $1 million on renovations at the Hill Center. However, the plan is tentative, and at least one school board member wants to hold a community forum on the idea.

“We’re generally supportive in concept and think it’ll be a benefit for the south side and the school district,” Purchase said today. “We would just hope that as they make a move for their temporary plans and make long-term plans, they continue to think about neighborhoods on the north side and around the community.”

As of spring 2012, the city had spent nearly $200,000 on studies to consolidate police operations into one building. Other police operations are housed in City Hall downtown. The South Washington Office Complex, a former National Guard Armory the city owns on Washington Avenue, has been eyed as the permanent home.