Homestead is getting ready to unveil the city’s new police headquarters.
On Wednesday, the white, 55,000 square-foot, three-story facility — located at 45 NW First Ave. — will be open for business. A grand opening ceremony will be held at 2 p.m. on Feb. 25.
The former Homestead police station housed officers since 1981 until recently. The 105-year-old building was infested with mold, had clogged water drains, water damage and radon gas levels five times higher than they should be. In 2015, the police department moved to temporary quarters in the Homestead Sports Complex on 152nd Avenue and Speedway Boulevard.
“Undoubtedly, providing a safe working environment for our officers and ensuring they have the tools needed to uphold the city’s anti-crime efforts is a top priority for our residents and leadership,” said Zackery Good, Homestead’s spokesman.
In May 2014, Homestead residents approved a bond referendum to increase the property tax bill by 82 cents per $1,000 of taxable property value to raise $18 million for a new police station and $3 million to set up a temporary police station in the sports complex.
“The impressive facility, constructed on time and on budget, is a community centerpiece that aligns with the vision to revitalize downtown Homestead,” said Good.
The new building — designed by Rodriguez & Quiroga Architects Chartered and built by Munilla Construction Management — will be just a block away from the old building, behind Losner Park and the newly renovated Seminole Theatre in the city’s historic downtown.
The effort to bring in a new police headquarters stems from the city’s ultimate goal of revitalizing its downtown area. In April, the city debuted a new city hall in hopes of bringing more people into the city’s desolate downtown. In March, the city will break ground on a new library; a new parking garage, bowling alley and movie theater are also in the pipeline.