Phoenix OKs $46.5M deal for downtown bank tower to house police
PHOENIX – The Phoenix City Council approved the purchase of the Wells Fargo Bank tower downtown with plans to make it home to police headquarters and other departments.
All but two on the council voted to authorize buying the 27-story high-rise at First Avenue and Washington Street for $46.5 million at last Thursday’s formal meeting.
“We have to figure that all out in detail, but big picture we know we have a police headquarters building … that is obsolete and needs to be significantly upgraded or replaced,” City Manager Ed Zuercher told KTAR News 92.3 FM on Tuesday.
No decision has been reached on when police officers will make the move from Sixth Avenue and Washington Street.
The deal won’t close until the fall, Zuercher said “but assuming all goes well, we’re going to look to first consolidate our 911 operators first. .. I don’t think we’re going to see a huge amount of movement probably for another nine to 12 months while we get the building ready.”
The emergency dispatchers work from two sites. The public transit department and a workforce development center also would be moved into the new site.
Council members Sal DiCiccio and Jim Waring voted against the move. The meeting was posted online.
“I would normally have supported something like this,” DiCiccio said just before the vote. “I think city staff is getting a great deal on this property … but at the same time you have to be fiscally responsible. And one of the plans set forth was to sell off other properties in order to pay for this property.
“Adding more debt is only going to create a problem.”
Last year, the police building and City Hall were damaged by protesters who were demonstrating against the killing George Floyd by Minneapolis police.