Birmingham leaders to discuss options for public safety facility
Birmingham City leaders discussed a building option Wednesday for a new public safety facility.Members of the Mayor's Office and some council members met during a Committee of the Whole meeting at Birmingham City Hall.Councilor William Parker talked about his concept for the Old Carraway Hospital. He says it will cost $40 to $60 million to rebuild or renovate a mixed-use facility on the property.But he faced tough questions. Councilors Kim Rafferty, Valerie Abbott and Jay Roberson asked if there were bids on the books for the hospital building. Parker responded that he was aware of some proposals after seeing a report on television Tuesday night. ABC 33/40 exclusively reported that there are two bids on the facility: one from a movie production company and another from a medical company. A source says both companies are based in Georgia, and a contract will be executed by June.Councilor Steven Hoyt said he supports redeveloping Carraway but he doesn't think it would be a good fit for a public safety headquarters. Hoyt says he would prefer a brand new building for the project.Parker insisted his concept for mixed-use is "a work in progress."Other options for development include the former Amsouth bank building and the former Social Security Building. The building's owner Franklin Haney told ABC 33/40 it would cost $50 million for the city to buy five floors. For weeks, media coverage has centered largely on one proposal to lease part of the building for $139 million for a 30-year lease. Haney contends he never urged city leaders to support the lease option.Mayor William Bell's office has conducted a cost analysis of all projects. A city spokesperson tells ABC 33/40 results will be presented to the Council within a week.Stay with ABC 33/40 for more on this developing story.