More money is needed for the build out of the new Malden City Hall
At its Oct. 9 meeting, the City Council’s Finance Committee voted unanimously in favor of a $5 million bond that will be used to fund the build out of the new building. The vote came after a brief presentation made by Ron Hogan, the Director of the Parking Department and a member of the Municipal Building Committee overseeing the interior design of the City Hall. According to Hogan, the money will supplement a previous bond approval and, together, will cover everything needed for the project.
The new City Hall will be located on the site of the previous one, inside of a new housing development undertaken by the Jefferson Apartment Group. About four years ago, the city sold the site of the former City Hall and the adjacent police station to JAG for about $10 million, Hogan explained after the meeting. That deal included over $9 million in tax incentives to the developer which, combined with a payment of $2.5 million, will be used to buy a shell on the odd side of the newly-reconnected Pleasant Street that will house the new City Hall. At the time of the initial deal, the City Council authorized a bond of $12.5 million that was to be used for a variety ways relating to the new development, chief among them being the new Police Station and the purchase and build out of the new City Hall.
Hogan explained after the meeting that that figure was an estimate based on the size of the new City Hall, which had yet to be finalized, and construction costs of the time. It was initially anticipated that the total space for the shell would be 42,000 square feet, but, in the intervening time, that has now increased to just under 50,000 square feet. That increase, combined with the sharp rise in construction costs, resulted in the need for more funding. If authorized by the full City Council, the $5 million will be combined with about $11.3 million left from the initial bond to fund the purchase and build out of the new City Hall.
Hogan explained that the city expects to take ownership of the shell sometime in March, with the goal of finishing construction by the end of 2019.
The current designs for the interior of the shell call for five stories taking up the entire height of the building. The entire first floor with be primarily devoted to the City Council chambers and three other meeting rooms. Most of the city departments that are heavily frequented by residents, such as the Treasurer, City Clerk and Veterans Affairs, will be located on the second floor. Included in the other three floors, aside from other city departments, are a roof deck on the third floor and a city-employee exclusive health center on the fifth.