The city of Cleveland is in the market for a new home for its police headquarters after a deal agreed to last June in which it will sell its jail lockup and police HQ in the Justice Center to Cuyahoga County for $9.5 million.
As that process plays out, the city has explored properties that match up with its needs — among other requirements, the site needs to be located downtown between the river and East 55th, include 800,000 square feet, 400 private parking spaces, etc. It is also considering new construction.
"About five" finalists among existing structures have now been selected with the help of Colliers International. Among them: Cleveland.com's building at 1801 Superior Ave., which is owned by the Plain Dealer Publishing Company.
That's according to a report on Cleveland.com
itself that sites sources familiar with the matter. Chris Quinn, vice president of Advance Ohio, the company that technically owns Cleveland.com, declined to comment to Cleveland.com's Robert Higgs for the story.
Quinn, along with chief revenue officer Josh Trust, did issue a generic statement acknowledging that the company has for years been seeking suitors for the property.
"While we have been seeking the ideal partner to take ownership of the building for several years, rest assured that we also have been scouting locations for our new home, a space to foster the innovation and collaboration that have been our hallmarks," they said. "We've talked with several potential buyers over the years without finding the right match. That's the nature of real estate. No deal is final until the last paper is signed. And a common feature of real estate negotiations is confidentiality, for obvious reasons."
If the prospects of a city entering into a real estate deal with that city's largest media outlet and daily paper, the ones tasked with adversarial, accountability journalism, makes you queasy, you're not alone. On its face, the negotiation itself is rife with potential untoward influence, and that's not even taking into account the established, cozy relationship between Mayor Jackson and Chris Quinn.
The other 4 finalists being considered by the city are not yet known. We'll update you if and when we know more.