PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Philadelphia police department is moving but where may surprise you.
The Philadelphia landmark once known as the “White Tower of Truth” will become home to the thin blue line.READ MORE: 3 Sharon Hill Police Officers Fired After Being Charged In Shooting Death Of 8-Year-Old Fanta Bility
The building at 400 North Broad Street has stood empty for nearly five years. Owner Bart Blatstein had once hoped to make it a casino but lost in bidding for the license.
Last year, Mayor Jim Kenney began reviewing plans to move the Police Administration Building to West Philadelphia, a site chosen by the previous administration.
Kenney thought a Center City location made more sense and could accommodate the 6th and 9th police Districts, which currently occupy prime real estate in Chinatown and Fairmount.READ MORE: 74-Year-Old Woman Killed In Medford House Fire
“After evaluating several different sites and weighing all the different considerations for over a year, we came to the conclusion that this space would provide the taxpayers more for their money,” Kenney said in a statement. “Not only can we locate more units in one space, but this location is also more accessible to the public and it creates fiscal and operations efficiencies for the City and our criminal justice partners.”
Councilman Al Taubenberger says the building will hold much more.
“You’ll have the communications for both fire and police, toxicology lab and actually even the morgue and there’s room for additional space and parking available, so I really think it is a great opportunity and great work for the city,” said Taubenberger.MORE NEWS: Ex-Horsham Clinic Staffer Faces Child Sex Abuse Charges After Allegedly Sending Nude Pictures To Teen Patient
Council, of course, will have to approve the deal — a nine-year lease purchase agreement for $290 million that includes renovations. Some will see an irony in putting the department in a building where reporters once investigated police abuse.