The Pierce County Council has voted to sell a vacant police building to a Lakewood church that wants to convert it into a community center housing up to a dozen homeless youths.
The council voted 5 to 1 Tuesday to sell the former West Precinct building of the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department for $1 million.
The Rev. Walt Kellcy, senior pastor of First Baptist Church of Lakewood, said his congregation plans initially to use the building for youth church activities and community meetings for the first two years. The congregation wouldn’t start housing homeless youths until 2014 at the earliest, Kellcy said.
Using the building for youth church activities and community meetings would require public comment and approval by the City of Lakewood, said Dave Bugher, the city’s community development director. Housing homeless youths would require approval by a hearing examiner, Bugher said.
Kellcy said the congregation will take a final vote Nov. 20 to purchase the building adjacent to the church’s property – with closing expected before the end of the year.
The 12,425-square-foot building at 5504 112th St. S.W. opened in 1985 as the West Precinct of the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department. The City of Lakewood leased the building for its police station after the city started its own police department in 2005. The building has been vacant since 2009 when Lakewood police moved into their new police station.
The property, including 2.88 acres, was appraised at $1.49 million in December 2010.
The sales agreement calls for the church to pay $700,000 in cash and the county would hold a mortgage for the rest.
Council member Tim Farrell voted against the sale. Council member Rick Talbert was absent.