Ever since the city of Seattle proposed the $149M North Precinct Police Station, it’s been steeped in controversy.
Many felt that the city didn’t need to put so much money into an expensive police station that included a yoga room and boulder playground while so many Seattleites were dealing with a lack of affordable housing and facilities. The city council voted 7-1 to approve the funding a few weeks back but the opposition hasn’t died down.
The din finally got too loud and Thursday night Mayor Murray announced that the city is putting the precinct plans on hold for reconsideration.
In a news release Thursday afternoon, Murray said the city will go ahead and conduct a “Racial Equity Toolkit review” of the proposed precinct building and also review “key design elements that increased the project cost. ”
“The building proposed by my predecessor would address a growing need to replace the North Precinct, but clearly the public continues to have concerns about the estimated costs,” Murray said.
#BREAKING @MayorEdMurray: Plans for controversial $149M precinct ON HOLD https://t.co/BhwcPshPmh via @NSwabyKing5 pic.twitter.com/ZAThCRkxMG— KING 5 News (@KING5Seattle) September 16, 2016
The move is being hailed a victory by the #BlockTheBunker movement.
Our movement to #BlockTheBunker just won HISTORIC victory! Mayor, Council scrap plans to build $160M Police Precinct. When we fight, we win!— Kshama Sawant (@cmkshama) September 16, 2016
Murray put the blame at the feet of his predecessor, Mike McGinn, who oversaw the plan’s creation with more expensive proposals and standards in mind. He added that remains committed to replacing the current North Seattle precinct building and will consider multiple design options and even multiple precincts in the region if that’s what it takes.