Suwanee to build substation

Photo by Tori Boone

Photo by Tori Boone

SUWANEE -- The city of Suwanee plans to build a new police substation and training center in its Gateway area.

The city recently purchased about one acre of blighted property near the Interstate 85 interchange that houses a vacant BP gas station, car wash and Waffle House. The empty structures will be demolished, and the city plans to start building the 7,000-square-foot substation later this year.

"Placing a police substation in the heavily commercial, heavily traveled Suwanee Gateway area serves several purposes," City Manager Marty Allen said. "Providing a visible police presence in the Gateway is a key component to ensuring the area's long-term viability. In addition, it serves an operational need to provide ongoing training opportunities for our police personnel, reducing the need for them to travel to other jurisdictions for such training."

The substation will also serve as an example of the kind of revitalization that Suwanee would like to see take place in the Gateway, Allen said.

Police Chief Mike Jones said he envisions "a very visible building that makes a real statement" and that will be used as a regional police training facility.

"The new substation will provide 24/7 police visibility in the Gateway," Jones said. "This facility will tell our citizens and visitors that safety in our community is a priority."

Suwanee purchased the property for $750,000, according to a news release. The city will receive income of about $320,000 from lease payments on an existing billboard that will remain on the property, which lowers the city's cost for the property to $430,000.

The city has contracted with Atlanta-based TSW to design the substation, and TSW will partner with Cincinnati-based law enforcement and fire emergency facilities designer CR-A, the news release states. The Hogan Construction Group of Norcross has been hired to build the facility.

The construction budget for the substation and training center is about $1.6 million, which will be paid primarily through special purpose local option sales tax funds.