Baltimore officials have chosen a possible site to which to move the city's police headquarters and are hiring a space-planning consultant to determine whether it is feasible.
In a breakfast meeting with reporters yesterday, Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke said he has "all but decided" that renovating the headquarters building at 601 E. Fayette St., which has air-conditioning and asbestos problems, "is not the way to go."
Mr. Schmoke said he has a first choice for a new site for the headquarters from a field of three but is not ready to identify it at this time.
The 10-story headquarters building was built between 1969 and 1972 at a cost of $13.6 million. City officials say the building will be renovated and put to another use.
The city has been looking for a site for the Police Department since January 1988, when they announced that the headquarters had to be vacated to remove potentially hazardous asbestos and to install a new heating and ventilation system.
Last February, city officials received 26 responses when they sought developers.
The mayor said his office is working with Honora Freeman, president of Baltimore Development Corp., to hire a space planner for its top choice and will be in a position to say more about it soon.
Asked whether the building is in the central business district, which Ms. Freeman's office oversees, the mayor indicated that would be "a good guess."