Above: A rendering of the new Affton Southwest Precinct at Sappington and Gravois roads.
By Gloria Lloyd
The plans for the new Affton Southwest Precinct of the St. Louis County Police Department are falling into place just as the precinct is moving to yet another temporary location.
Since December, the precinct has been housed in a strip mall in Crestwood after mold was found at the longtime 3rd Precinct headquarters on Gravois Road in Affton, which were dilapidated compared to the more modern surroundings at the new South County Precinct opened on Sappington Barracks Road in 2015.
County voters approved money for the construction of a new police precinct with the passage of the half-cent countywide sales tax Proposition P in 2017, but getting that precinct built will take years. The cost is estimated at $20 million, funded by bonds paid for by Prop P funds.
The precinct could open by the end of 2021. Its new location is the former home to the Sappington Garden Shop and just across the street from the Lindbergh Schools Central Office at Sappington, Gravois and Denny roads.
But between now and then, the precinct will bounce around a bit more. For the next two years and however much longer it takes to get the new precinct up and running, the precinct will move to new temporary digs in Concord at 5030 Griffin Road.
The County Council began weighing legislation last week that would rent office space from Bahn Realty for $52,250 a year June 1, 2019, through May 31, 2021, then continuing month to month until the new precinct opens. The precinct will move to Griffin Road starting in July.
The final plans for the newly designed and soon-to-be-constructed precinct were drawn up under the administration of former County Executive Steve Stenger.
After a near-debacle in which the St. Louis County Port Authority, which had been looking to purchase the land, nearly missed the deadline to close on the deal, the council stepped in and bought the land.
The deal closed by February, when design plans were finished.
Then-county Communications Director Cordell Whitlock texted The Call in February, “We acquired land for south county precinct. Moving forward with project.”
Now, the design plans are being shown off by 6th District Councilman Ernie Trakas, R-Oakville, who has taken the book with information on the precinct to various events so that residents can get a sneak peek at the design.
“It’s quite impressive actually,” Trakas said at a meeting of the Concord-Lemay-Gravois Republicans in May.
The design is also intended for the new North County Precinct that will also be built with Prop P money, although land for it has not yet been acquired. The county currently rents space for that precinct.