Metro Government could soon own the former AT&T building on West Chestnut Street downtown. Last week, the city entered a purchase agreement for the property at a cost of $6.8 million.
It could become the new home of the Louisville Metro Police Department, and possibly other city departments whose current offices are in bad shape or leased.
Mark Zoeller, the director of the city’s Office of Facilities and Fleet Management, said the price tag is a good deal for the city.
“We believe that we’ll end up seeing savings out of this,” he said. “And that is assuming the operational cost of the AT&T building and the different things that we know that we’ll be getting into — we feel like it’s gonna be the best for Metro government operations and will be best for the citizens.”
Zoeller didn’t elaborate on how this building would benefit residents, except to say the aim is to increase access to government services. It’s also unclear exactly which departments could be stationed in that building, but he confirmed it would house LMPD — whose current headquarters are in a state of disrepair.
He said the city would bring in a design team to plan the facilities spaces after closing on the property, which could happen as soon as late January.
“We did [a Request For Proposals] just recently for a consultant to come on to look at the demolition of [LMPD’s] facility. So, it does have a backlog of deferred maintenance needs. And we believe the AT&T building is an excellent solution to some of those needs,” Zoeller said.
The 198,000-square-foot facility is blocks from court buildings, Metro Hall and City Hall, though not as close as LMPD’s current headquarters, which are at West Jefferson and Seventh Streets.
Metro Government has until mid-December to carry out due diligence, including inspections and an appraisal of the space. The purchase is subject to Metro Council approval.