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Old Grant Avenue flea market is site for new Manassas police station

If shovels were to hit the dirt today, a new police station in Manassas could cost $18.5 million.

An April 2017 study outlines a new police station, dubbed public safety center. The station would be located in the old Grant Avenue Shopping Center in the southwest corner of the city, near Georgetown South.

A four-story, 17,000 square footprint building, is depicted in the study with room for police officers to work, train, to interview witnesses, fingerprint suspects, clean their vehicles, and store weapons. A 911 call center, and police administration offices would also be included in the new building.

Outside there would be a 6,000 square foot building to store collected evidence, and a 3,000 square-foot warehouse to place bicycles and equipment. Police officers spend much of their shifts in patrol cars, so plans also include a 5,300 square-foot parking lot.

The city’s 12 IT staff would also house in the new building, replacing the division’s 4th-floor offices at city hall. Last year, the city purchased a portion of the Grant Avenue Shopping Center where the station would be located.

At 37,000 gross-square-feet, the new station is nearly double the size of the city’s current police headquarters on Fairview Avenue that opened in 1989. Between now and 2032, the police department is slated to add five more staff members bringing the total to 134, according to the study. That’s a growth of about four percent.

The staffing numbers for other departments for the public safety center, to include fire and rescue and IT staff are not slated to grow, according to the study.

Manassas Police Chief Douglas Keen said the police department has needed the additional space since 2003.

“The current PD HQ is approximately 24,000 square feet. That does not include the many outbuildings and storage locations we have to assist us with spaced needs. The space needs studies (several have been conducted since 2003) indicated the [police department] needed approximately an additional 5000-8000 square feet. The space is not only needed for current personnel but also future growth, training rooms, and storage for evidence and property. Adding all of these components would suggest that the PD would need approximately 40,000 square feet of space,” Keen stated in an email.

The station would replace an old indoor flea market that featured small shops that sold a variety of items, from clothing to cell phones. The city purchased the property last year for $3.2 million.

“The police station is the priority of the new city budget,” said City Councilman Marc Aveni. “This will be the first step in developing the Grant Avenue corridor, and I know a lot of people are excited about the station being located there. A lot of nearby residents are going to feel more secure.”

A public meeting on the new facility will be held at the current city police headquarters at 9518 Fairview Avenue Tuesday, June 27 at 7 p.m.

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