The Kansas City Council is expected to clear the way for the sale of the North Patrol Station of the Kansas City Police Department after the first of the year.
The distinctive yellow and black structure known as the “bumble bee” has served as the police station since 1976. It has to be officially declared “surplus” before it can be put on the market. The city has determined the property is not of use anymore to the police department or any other city agency.
City Council is expected to vote on that issue in January. However, City Architect Eric Bosch says the highly visible location southwest of the intersection of NW Barry Road and Highway 169 makes it a very desirable property. Bosch said they have had some interest in the property already, but a price has yet to be set.
“Two things have to happen first. We need to do a survey of the property and an appraisal. Those two things are in the works,” Bosch said.
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Maj. Sharon Laningham, construction division commander for the Kansas City Police Department, pointed out that there are gas tanks in the ground, which might make it a good location for a car lot. The decision as to whether to tear down the yellow and black building will be left to the new owner.
Work began in early December on a new North Patrol Division Station for the Kansas City Missouri Police Department. It will sit on a piece of land owned by the Kansas City Airport at 10610 NW Prairie View Road. Plans for a low-profile neutral tone building are in stark contrast to the yellow and black emergency-beacon-like structure that currently serves as the police station.
Lots of light and gathering spaces are designed with the public in mind in the new station.
The current north patrol station opened 1976 when Metro North Mall had yet to open and Barry Road only had two lanes. Many features of the station, including the size, no longer accommodate the needs of the area. The 12,000-square-foot building has holding cells in the basement and an open interior, which makes the building loud; not ideal for a station, Laningham said.
Laningham said community policing, which has influenced the design of the new station, has developed in the last 40 years. “It started in multi-unit housing, in places where people tend to move in and out and we would work with property managers to help with disturbances,” Laningham said.
Police found an advantage in having a proactive relationship with the public. The new station will have a community room with a patio near the front of the building that has been designed with neighborhood, scouts and other groups in mind. Similar rooms have been added to other patrol stations and to headquarters in downtown Kansas City.
The new building is expected to take about 14 months to complete, which will mean a move-in date in the first quarter of 2017.