The city of Bloomington is planning to purchase a 64,000-square-foot section of the Showers Building. The city says the space could house the police and fire department administration offices together, centrally located as part of City Hall.
The city says the consolidation would allow for new and improved facilities. Both departments were damaged last year due to flooding, making rehabilitation of the existing buildings inadvisable, with costs exceeding value.
“City government always strives to meet the needs of residents through accessible and responsive city services. Modernizing public safety facilities under one roof and centralizing service locations can help us do that,” said Mayor John Hamilton. “We are also pleased to have a chance to do so in a way that preserves and integrates a structure that is of such historical importance in our City’s long story.”
The 1910-era Showers Brothers Furniture complex is currently owned in three sections: the city, the county, and CFC Properties. The city is proposing to purchase CFC’s portion. The city says the Bloomington Redevelopment Commission would purchase the property for $9.25 million.
“The Bloomington Police Department is in critical need of a new facility, especially since the flood in 2021,” said Bloomington Police Department Chief Mike Diekhoff. “Acquiring this building is a great opportunity to invest in the future of policing in our community. A new police headquarters will strengthen public safety in our community and help us retain and recruit new officers. It will also keep our residents and visitors that much safer. Locating a new headquarters in proximity to other city services is a logical extension of the City’s desire to provide for Bloomington residents.”
Additionally, the city says the purchase of the CFC building portion would allow for continued preservation of the historic structure. Plans for the current police and fire buildings are yet to be determined.