Groundbreaking ceremony held for new OPD HQ

Orlando Magic to build entertainment complex at old site

ORLANDO, Fla. - With the ceremonial turning of dirt by city commissioners, the mayor of Orlando, and the police chief, ground was broken Thursday morning on the new Orlando Police Department's headquarters.

After 43 years in the same place, the police department is moving to a new 96,000-square-foot facility on South Orange Blossom Trail.

"It's going to be a world-class facility for a modern police force with the latest technology," Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer said.

OPD's new headquarters, estimated to cost $41.5 million, will be located at the corner of South Street and Orange Blossom Trail, where the old Lynx bus depot used to be.

The new HQ will pave the way for a new $200 million entertainment complex at the site of the current OPD location near the Amway Center.

The Orlando Magic will build the new complex, which will include shops, restaurants, a hotel and a convention center. The new complex is expected to bring about 1,000 jobs to the area when it's finished.

The new police station is designed to be inviting to the neighborhood and provide new services that Orlando Police Chief John Mina says the current antiquated building does not have.

"It lacks technology.  It lacks needs for the handicap.  It lacks an openness for our community, so that's what we're hoping this new facility brings," Mina said.

Dyer said the city is funding half of the project with energy savings made from sustainability efforts in other city buildings.

Both the mayor and chief are looking forward to the possibilities that will come with the new location.

"The location is ideal because it helps us further our interest in revitalizing Parramore and the South Orange Blossom Trail," Dyer said.

Construction of the new facility is scheduled to be completed in the fall of 2016.

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