Redlands OKs buying 6-story building for future City Hall and police station – Redlands Daily Facts




The tallest building in Redlands is one step closer to becoming City Hall and a police station.

The City Council on Tuesday, June 15, approved a purchase and sale agreement for the six-story structure at 300 E. State St. The sale price is $16 million.

The agreement and an initial deposit were OK’d 4-0 with Councilman Paul Foster absent.

Mayor Paul Barich said the city won’t move in overnight to the structure formerly known as the Redlands Federal, or Red Fed, building, as the city still has to “work things out” with tenants.

“I feel that this is a good deal for the citizens of Redlands,” Barich said. “It’s a high-profile building, and it is adequate to meet all our needs.”

City Manager Charlie Duggan told the council the city has a 60-day due diligence period to explore renovation costs, and make sure there is adequate space for the city’s needs.

If city staffers find anything significant during that period, that information will be brought back to the council.

“If everything checks out the way we are expecting it to, we believe that this is going to be an excellent asset for the city government for years to follow,” Duggan said.

Buying the building means “being able to upgrade all of the departments at the City Hall Civic Center in addition to housing the police patrol division and other police areas,” he added.

The city has compared costs for constructing a new building and buying this one.

Duggan estimated it would cost more than $30 million to build a new public safety building. Even with several million dollars in renovations, the city will come out ahead with this purchase, he said.

An initial deposit of $500,000 will come from money designated for a future City/Safety Hall that started with proceeds from selling the former Safety Hall as well as vacant property on Park Avenue. The rest of the money will come from cash and borrowing.

Facilities & Community Services Director Chris Boatman told the council the city does have sufficient cash to purchase the entire building up front, if needed.

In a written public comment to the council, Fred Dill said he was not in favor of the sale.

“Redlands desperately needs a new modern Police Station,” Dill wrote. “Redlands does not need to buy an office building that has many existing tenants and grossly inadequate parking.”

The Citrus Center building is home to banks, lawyers and the Cupcake and Espresso Bar, among other tenants.

City officials have been discussing the need for a new safety hall for years.

In May, the city offered to purchase the building, and owner Redlands Community Investment Corp. submitted a counteroffer, which was accepted by the council in closed session on June 1.

The seller’s address, 380 New York St., is the same address as mapping software giant Esri.

In a letter to the council separate from his public comments, Dill suggested the city buy the Redlands Mall which, he said, could be “easily and inexpensively” converted into a City Hall and police station.

The 92,000-square-foot Citrus Center building opened in 1981 as the corporate headquarters for Redlands Federal Savings and Loan. The blocky, light-colored building has also been referred to as the “sugar cube.”

Staff noted in a written report that the borrowing may occur after the purchase, and the exact amounts will come back to the council in the near future.

On Tuesday night, the council also approved a $51,700 contact with Miller Architectural Corp. to evaluate the structure.

All council members present agreed the move will save money in the long run.

“If everything pans out and the city does purchase this property, it’s the community’s asset,” Councilman Eddie Tejeda said.

With this move, he added, “We’re just looking out into the future and saving folks some money.”


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