Northeast Times

New home

— Po­lice uni­on leaves Cen­ter City for Far North­east

May­or Nut­ter con­grad­u­lates every­one on the new headquar­ters of the Fraternal Or­der of Po­lice Lodge 5, be­fore a ground­break­ing ce­re­mony on the prop­erty. The new space will be ready for use in sev­en months, Monday, May 14, 2012, Phil­adelphia, Pa. (Maria Pouch­nikova)

Start­Frag­ment

The shovels were in the ground Monday af­ter­noon on the site of FOP Lodge 5’s  new headquar­ters in the Far North­east.

Uni­on pres­id­ent John McNesby was joined by Po­lice Com­mis­sion­er Charles Ram­sey, May­or Mi­chael Nut­ter, Coun­cil­man Bri­an O’Neill (R-10th dist.), U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz (D-13th dist.), state Sen. Mi­chael Stack (D-5th dist.) and state Reps. Kev­in Boyle, Brendan Boyle and Ed Neilson as well as a host of FOP mem­bers as they ce­re­mo­ni­ally star­ted work on the old IRS build­ing at 11630 Car­oline Road that will be­come the FOP’s new home. 

“I didn’t think this day would ever come,” McNesby said, adding the uni­on worked on ac­quir­ing the build­ing and get­ting fin­an­cing for at least two years.

Renov­a­tions are ex­pec­ted to be com­pleted in sev­en months. The prop­erty had been a ware­house for 20 years be­fore it served an­oth­er 20 as an IRS data pro­cessing cen­ter.

The po­lice uni­on needed two vari­ances so it could op­er­ate the in­dus­tri­ally zoned prop­erty be­low Comly Road as a so­cial club and have mu­sic. Nor­mandy Civic As­so­ci­ation mem­bers backed the FOP vari­ance ap­plic­a­tion  dur­ing their Janu­ary meet­ing. The uni­on’s cur­rent headquar­ters is on Spring Garden Street in Cen­ter City. McNesby said 68 per­cent of the FOP’s mem­bers are from the North­east, so put­ting the uni­on’s headquar­ters and ca­ter­ing hall where they live is a con­veni­ence for them.

The cur­rent uni­on hall is old, needs ex­tens­ive re­pairs and the only avail­able park­ing spots are on the street. The new fa­cil­ity would be a great ca­ter­ing hall, said the uni­on pres­id­ent, adding that the $8 mil­lion in renov­a­tions are ex­pec­ted to be com­pleted by Decem­ber.

“This is a great space,” Ram­sey said as he looked around the cav­ernous, stripped-down build­ing. “I had no idea it would be as large as it is. Can we swap the Round­house for this?”

Nor­mandy, a small neigh­bor­hood of less than 500 house­holds, will soon be sand­wiched by po­lice fa­cil­it­ies. The FOP lodge will be on the south end of the area, and the city’s new po­lice train­ing cen­ter is slated for the old re­serve cen­ter on Wood­haven Road in the neigh­bor­hood’s north.

End­Frag­ment

You can reach at jloftus@bsmphilly.com.

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