New TPD headquarters a work in progress

Work in underway on the city’s new public safety headquarters. Photo by Jasamine Lee

The Northwood Mall site — Tallahassee’s first mall — is in the process of being converted into the new headquarters for the Tallahassee Police Department.

Demolition of the old building began in March 2021 and it remains a work in progress. Following the city’s recently adopted green building policy, the city expects tons of material to be reused, repurposed or recycled.

“As of now, the new headquarters building is the main priority on the site. This site presents opportunities for new green space, community amenities and other economic development projects in the future,” said Alison Faris, director of communications for the city of Tallahassee.

The AJAX team is responsible for selecting the overall site and guiding the design team through community meetings. This site, which encompasses approximately 29.5 acres behind the Hooters restaurant on North Monroe Street, is also bordered by North Martin Luther King Boulevard and Tharpe Street.

As the city’s communications director, Faris often sees updates. “Community engagement has been central to the project and the master planning effort with hundreds of residents having submitted comments and feedback. In addition to public meetings and workshops, the city gathers community ideas and input continually.

“The old police headquarters on East Seventh Avenue has been in the tradition of service since 1972 and it’s time to relocate. The location is decades old and isn’t large enough to support a growing team.

This location was recommended by technical experts and the majority of the public who provided input due to its central location, accessibility and size,” Faris added. “As of right now, the total cost of everything is to be determined. The infrastructure and headquarters building is also a City of Tallahassee project.”

This project consists of the construction of new roads, utilities, stormwater, street lights, sidewalks, landscaping, and parking to support the entire property. The new TPD headquarters has been the subject of a community meeting for anyone with input.

“I’m excited for the headquarters to be finished. If you’ve ever been in the old police department it looks like nothing has been changed since the early 2000s and something had to change,” said Deonte Hardy, a Leon County resident.

The construction phase will take at least a year. It is also in the process of completing a master plan for the development of the entire acreage and the potential future development of its parcels.

This process will take time to complete, so Leon County residents should be on the lookout as developments take place.