New patrol station groundbreaking heralded as east side rebirth

In a ceremony today, officials said the new police east patrol station and crime lab will be a catalyst for rebirth of the city’s east side.

The $74 million project between Prospect and Brooklyn avenues, 26th to 27th streets is scheduled for completion in about two years.

It was originally to cost about $60 million but costs for things like land acquisition and demolition were much higher than expected, forcing officials to reduce the size of the crime lab from 71,000 square feet to 57,600 square feet.

Hard feelings still linger from some people whose homes were destroyed and officials acknowledged that today.

Alvin Brooks, president of the board of police commissioners, spoke before an audience that included many who lost houses.

“I know there is some bitter sweet as we gather here today,” he said.

The home where he and his late wife were married and where their three children were born was among those demolished for the project, he said.

But, he said, “Progress for the total community is what is important also; it will be an advancement for this neighborhood, an advancement for Kansas City.”

Councilman John Sharp

Councilman Jermaine Reed thanked those who lost homes and others for supporting a project he said will create more development in the Prospect Avenue area and beyond.

“We all know Prospect Avenue has been a hot spot for crime for far too long,” he said. “Today we’re changing that.”

Mayor Sly James said the massive project and more police presence signal advances toward rebuilding a long ignored area.

“We need to keep climbing upward – we have much more that needs to be done on the east side of Kansas City,” he said.

A police handout listed the details of what will be on the 17-acre site: a patrol station with a community room totaling 36,200 square feet, the crime lab, a property and evidence depository of 10,200 square feet, a central plant of 4,080 square feet and 250 parking spaces.

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