(Above: Live feed of the 3989 Central Ave NE property construction.)
This fall, the City of Columbia Heights sold the land it owned at Central and 40th to the City’s development partner Alatus. Alatus hired Doran Construction to build a mixed-use development project that includes 266 apartments, a café space, and a new City Hall at 3989 Central Ave. Construction began in November shortly after the old bank building on the lot was demolished. It’s expected to take approximately 20 months to complete.
The Columbia Heights City Council voted 5-0 in September 2019, to authorize the establishment of a new, 20,000 square-foot City Hall as part of a vertical mixed-use development at 3989 Central Ave. The City Hall will be owned by the City, like a condo, though it will be part of a larger private development. The City has partnered with the Leo A Daly LLC architecture firm to help design the facility.
The concrete foundation work continues to move forward on schedule. Crews are busy completing the first two floors of the project. The first floor consists of underground parking, and the second floor includes covered parking, the new City Hall, and the planned café space.
Project Update - Feb 16, 2021
Project Update - Oct 6, 2020
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.
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.
Reports and Downloadable Information
Read the full City Hall condition report, with photos, here.
Read the full City Hall master plan report here. (Note: not updated with 40th and Central option info)
See a preliminary cost comparison of the two options that were under consideration here.
Download a one-sheet summary of the existing City Hall condition here.
Download a one-sheet summary of the pros and cons of the options that were under consideration here.
Preliminary Site, Layout and Development Concept Plans
Alatus Preliminary Development Concept for Central and 40th
Potential Layout of 40th and Central Site (Overview)
Potential Layout of 40th and Central Site (City Hall)
Huset Park City Hall Layout
Potential Layout of Huset Park City Hall Site (Option A)
Potential Layout of Huset Park City Hall Site (Option B)
Potential Layout of Huset Park City Hall Site (Option C)
City Hall Informational Meeting Recording
City Manager Kelli Bourgeois, Public Works Director Kevin Hansen, and Community Development Director Aaron Chirpich presented a public informational meeting Sept 18 at Murzyn Hall about the two potential sites under consideration for a new City Hall. The meeting included a question and answer portion. The unedited video was split into four parts. Parts two through four include the question and answer portion:
Informational Meeting Part 1
Informational Meeting Part 2
Informational Meeting Part 3
Informational Meeting Part 4
Contact City Staff for Feedback or Questions
City Manager Kelli Bourgeois may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Community Development Director Aaron Chirpich may be reached at email@example.com
Public Works Director Kevin Hansen may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Finance Director Joseph Kloiber may be reached at email@example.com
To reach City Hall by phone, call 763-706-3610.