New City Hall


(Above: Live feed of the 3989 Central Ave NE property.)

Groundbreaking Ceremony - Nov 12, 2020

The City Council, joined by City staff, business partners, developers, and mayor and councilmember elects, participated in a groundbreaking and ribbon cutting ceremony for the new development project at 3989 Central Ave.

Project Update - Oct 6, 2020

Matt Niedenfuer, of Doran Companies, and Barrett Corwin, of Alatus LLC, give an update on the 3989 Central Ave NE property. Demolition of the old Northeast Bank building and parking ramp will be wrapped up at the end of October, while construction of the new City Hall will start early November.

Demolition of the old bank building started in early September and has entered the debris-removal stage. Earlier in the demolition process, City Council members Connie Buesgens, Nick Novitsky, and John Murzyn Jr., along with City staff, visited the project. The photos below depict the various stages of the demolition. 

Facility Condition Report Details Current State of Existing City Hall, New City Hall Options Under Consideration 
Columbia Heights City Hall has reached the end of its useful life. That’s the conclusion reached in a facility condition report presented to the City Council in January of 2019. Necessary renovations to keep the existing building functional would cost at least $6.6 million, according to an analysis by the Leo A Daly architecture firm.

“It is safe to say the cost of renovating this building will exceed the cost of building a new City Hall,” said Kevin Hansen, public works director.

On top of that, he added, renovations wouldn’t correct the primary concerns of exterior wall deficiencies, space inefficiency, and irresolvable accessibility problems. The original building was built in 1942, and has had three major renovations and several add-ons since then. After the Police Department moved to a new building in 2010, half of City Hall’s space has gone unused. But those empty spaces still cost money to heat, cool, and keep up-to-code.

Other major concerns about the existing City Hall include:
• presence of asbestos in building • water infiltration in multiple areas and water damage prolific throughout • inadequate power capacity and wire integrity • incomplete removal of antiquated systems • lack of fire barriers in ceilings and inadequacy of fire escapes • inadequate ADA accessibility throughout building • exterior wall failure and leaky walls/ceilings • evidence of mildew and possible mold • roof fire hazards and inadequacy • inefficient or dysfunctional heating and cooling systems • hazardous stairways and level changes • old elevator in frequent need of repair • unreliable, inadequate, and rapidly failing technology systems in frequent need of repair 

For a one-sheet summary (with photos) of the City Hall condition report, go here. For the full report, go here.