By Kathy Lee Scott/Garden Grove Journal
From the smoke of an out-of-business steakhouse, a new Garden Grove fire station will rise up.
To accommodate more police officers, the department needs to expand from its current 27,000 square feet at headquarters on Acacia Parkway to 100,000 square feet.
The main public safety building (shared between police and fire) was built in 1972 but with 308 police department employees, things get tight, said Lt. Robert Fowler, project manager.
“One-hundred-thousand square feet is the ideal, which we won’t get,” said City Manager Matt Fertal.
Instead, the fire department will relocate to the former Black Angus restaurant site at 12900 Euclid Avenue sometime in the future.
The restaurant closed in 2005 after the eatery filed bankruptcy. For three years, the owners of the land, M. David Paul & Associates of Santa Monica, fought for control over the land and won. They offered it to the city for $2.9 million.
The vacated fire department space will open up around 14,000 square feet for police use. Offsite police facilities (another 8,000 square feet) would be unaffected by the change.
“The huge bays present a challenge,” Fowler said, referring to where the fire vehicles are kept. “We won’t be able to make them two stories because the ceilings are too low.”
A feasibility study underway should show how to expand the police department into the space vacated by the fire department, plus how to best use the 1.87-acre site for the new firehouse.
Fire officials envision a 12,000-square-foot, two-story structure housing four fire vehicles. Included in the new building will be 8,000 square feet for administrative offices.
A final report, including designs and floorplans for the new structure and expanded police department, should come to the council around April 2010.
“We won’t know what our next step is until the report is done,” said Fertal.