Police moving to Howard Street

March 12, 1992|By Edward Gunts | Edward Gunts,Staff Writer

The vacant Hecht Co. store at Howard and Lexington streets will be the next headquarters for the Baltimore Police Department.

In announcing the decision yesterday, Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke said he was guided by the department's needs, cost factors and the city's economic development agenda.

"Safety is a critical issue for the 1990s and the city's future," the mayor said. "Locating the new police headquarters on Howard Street is a symbolic and tangible investment in the Howard Street corridor and in the continued viability of downtown as the economic heart of the state."

The conversion is expected to cost at least $20 million and bring more than 2,000 people to the Market Center area.

Mayoral spokesman Clint Coleman said the city is negotiating with the owners of the Hecht Co. building about whether to buy or lease it. The exact timetable for the move from 601 E. Fayette St. has not been determined, he said.

"We're glad to see it happen," Michael Shaivitz, manager of Lee Furniture Co. on North Eutaw Street and treasurer of the Market Center Association, said of the move.

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