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Newton Mayor Ruthanne Fuller reports in her most recent email newsletter that Mark Development was the only developer to respond to the city’s RFP to find a new site for police department headquarters. And she adds, “…there’ll have to be some tough negotiating to get the proposal to a place where it makes sense for the City.

Here’s her full comment…

The City received only one response to our request for proposals for a site to locate a new police complex, and at first glance, I’ve got a few concerns.
That’s not to say the whole undertaking is off the table, but let’s just say there’ll have to be some tough negotiating to get the proposal to a place where it makes sense for the City.
A little background: A few months ago, Police Chief David MacDonald took me on a tour of the Newton Police Headquarters, as well as those in Watertown and Weston. Suffice it to say, ours is in dire need of an upgrade. It’s too small, parking is limited, and the building is not up to current safety codes. A new police complex, however, would be very expensive and we have a lot of competing needs.
But what if there were a way to capture the value of the current headquarters, a prized piece of real estate in West Newton Square, and find a way to build a new station, preserve the historic Police Headquarters building, and strengthen the vibrancy of the village center?
We issued a request for proposals last month, with a deadline of today, to see if there was anyone interested.
Mark Development (Robert Korff’s company) responded with a plan that essentially trades about 1.7 acres of land off Craft Street (next to our DPW facilities) and provides $7 million for constructing a new Police Headquarters in exchange for the current Police headquarters, garage and annex in West Newton Square.
An advisory committee made up of Police Chief David MacDonald and other department heads, and four City Councilors (Lenny Gentile, Allan Ciccone, Deb Crossley, and Barbara Brousel-Glaser) has been convened to study the proposal and advise me on how to proceed. Stay tuned.
In the meantime, we’re working to get the full proposal from Mark Development posted online tomorrow.