Seattle mayor shelves plan to build $149M North Precinct police building after complaints

This is the design for the new police precinct building in north Seattle.

This is the design for the new police precinct building in north Seattle.

SEATTLE — Mayor Ed Murray unexpectedly announced Thursday that the city is going to reconsider the proposed $149 million police North Precinct building while they review the plan, citing concerns “around equity, cost and community needs.”

Critics said it would be most expensive precinct the city has ever built, and even more expensive than almost any other police building in the country.

Just last month, despite protests from the community, the Seattle City Council passed a resolution to move ahead with the new building for police and Murray defended the cost.

In a news release Thursday afternoon, Murray said the city will go ahead and conduct a “Racial Equity Toolkit review” of the proposed precinct building and also review “key design elements that increased the project cost. ”

“The building proposed by my predecessor would address a growing need to replace the North Precinct, but clearly the public continues to have concerns about the estimated costs,” Murray said.

“While we have had extensive discussions and planning, it is clear we need to reconsider the plan as proposed and ensure we are meeting the needs of the community with what we build,” he added. “As I have said, if this project inhibits our ability to continue strengthening the relationship between our community and our police, then we would revisit it.

“I remain committed to replacing the aging precinct in North Seattle and am prepared to consider multiple design options, if it is determined that is the best path for the community,” Murray said.