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City Leaders Gather for Ground Breaking : Police Facility Work Made Official

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Times Staff Writer

Mayor Roger Hedgecock and a host of fellow city officials showed up Wednesday for a ceremonial ground breaking for the city’s new Police Administration and Technical Center at 14th Street and Broadway.

Although construction began Jan. 2, Hedgecock and other city officials took turns shoveling dirt while huge earth-moving machines worked in the background.

Hedgecock told the crowd of about 200 that the new headquarters will be something San Diego residents can be proud of because it proves that public safety comes first.

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The seven-story building, which should be completed by July, 1986, will replace the police station at Market Street and Pacific Highway. About 700 police officers and city employees will work out of the new building.

The old police station has outlived its time, Hedgecock said, adding that he was “embarrassed” that San Diego police did not have a better building in which to work.

Police officers will have new and more modern technology in the new building, Cmdr. Ken Fortier said after the ceremony. The old building was not large enough to house all of the department’s investigative technology.

The cost of the new facility is estimated at $43.7 million, and represents the city’s largest real estate transaction ever. The city issued certificates of participation to finance construction.

Certificates of participation are similar to municipal bonds but do not require the approval of two-thirds of the voters. The tax-exempt certificates will be redeemed with proceeds of the sale of 400 acres of city-owned commercial property in the Golden Triangle area east of La Jolla.

Starboard Development Co. will supervise construction, then lease the building back to the city at rents averaging $4.3 million a year over 30 years.

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The project is a reminder that public government and private industry can work together successfully, Hedgecock said.

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