A press release from the DC Office of Property Management
(h/t to reader C and the City Paper
"Lars Etzkorn, Director of the DC Office of Property Management (OPM), today announced that OPM has canceled the move
of major elements of the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) to the former Washington Star/Post printing facility at 225 Virginia Avenue, SE
. 'We have found this deal to be too expensive for the District,' Etzkorn said. 'Fortunately we realized before it was too late that forcing three dissimilar police functions in this building (a local police station and its cell-block, a warehouse for secure evidence storage along with regular office space) is not cost-effective
. In addition, we have found the facility to be inconsistent with the adjacent neighborhood
. OPM is now studying the future of the building.' When the lease was signed in December 2006, the following MPD elements were planned to move to 225 Virginia Avenue, SE: evidence storage, violent crimes, narcotics and special investigation, special operations, the superintendent of detectives, MPD Headquarters and the First District Station now in Southwest." (emphases mine)
Wow. More to come, I'm sure.
Here's the Post's piece
on the decision (there will probably be a more complete one later today/in tomorrow's paper).
The Washington Business Journal
ads a bit of info. (Though it's also a good exercise in journalism literacy for lay folks of how news items get written off of a press release
in such a way that it appears the writer interviewed someone when they actually didn't.) Meanwhile, the Voice of the Hill
does it right (and adds still more detail). And, for the heck of it, here's my summary of the July community meeting
that let OPM and MPD know in no uncertain terms how strongly residents were against the plan.
The Post's expanded piece for Thursday's paper
is now up, noting that the city is on the hook for $542,000 a month in rent for 225 Virginia, but that while there's a cost for holding the building and not moving the police into it, "That cost is not going to drive bad decision-making. It is more important to protect long-term interests of the District of Columbia," according to Lars Etzkorn. And apparently council member Phil Mendelson (who chairs the Public Safety Committee) was not consulted on this decision. The priority now is to find a new home for the 1D station, so that the new Consolidated Crime Lab can be built at 4th and School SW as planned.