Dallas County To Weigh Upping Project Budget

Emergency Operations Center in Seattle | Image by Ser Amantio di Nicolao/Flickr

The price tag for Dallas County’s new emergency operations center could increase by more than $9 million if commissioners approve adjusting the original budget for the project at a meeting next month.

At a negotiated cost not to exceed approximately $39.05 million, county commissioners are moving beyond the $30.04 million at which they capped the emergency operations center (EOC) project in November 2022, a briefing related to a Dallas County Commissioners Court meeting shows.

But Dallas County taxpayers are not footing the bill. Funding is through the American Rescue Plan Act Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds program.

The facility is expected to serve as a place for leaders of a jurisdiction or assisting organizations to meet up to coordinate information and resources in the event of emergencies. The county currently utilizes the Cottrell-Hernandez Building as its EOC.

The price increase correlates with shifts to incorporate “national best practices related to the final design, program, and performance specifications,” the briefing states, while also including the cost for the site and building construction. The higher figure also includes the cost of furniture, equipment, and fixtures.

The new EOC will be built on three adjacent tracts of land located at 1010 W. Mockingbird Ln. (which has a +67,000-square foot office building on 3.4302 acres), 7101 Envoy Ct. (which has a +12,000-square foot office building on 0.8976 acres), and 7141 Envoy Ct. (which has 0.44 acres of land). The properties were previously approved for purchase last year by the Commissioners Court.

According to the briefing, the site will be expected to accommodate a building ranging in size between 30,000 and 35,000 square feet with roughly 200 parking spaces and the ability to expand in the future if and as needed.

Once approved, development and construction of the project should take about 20 months, the briefing states.

As part of the budget approval, Dallas County will weigh a ground lease and development agreement with Dallas-based Kaizen Development Partners for the EOC project, in addition to an adjusted construction escrow agreement with Capital Title and Kaizen.

CBRE, Inc./OMS is slated to represent the county in the ground lease and development deals, the briefing shows.

The vote on the final budget for the EOC project is set to be considered at the Commissioners Court Meeting agenda for December 5. It is recommended for approval.

The land along West Mockingbird Lane and Envoy Court are not the first sites the commissioners negotiated. Dallas County first found five acres at 8733 Stemmons Fwy. for about $10.8 million, a previous county document shows.

The seller of the Stemmons property instead opted for a long lease with a current client it believed would bring in more income long-term, leading Dallas County to what it called a “superior site” due to its better traffic flow, multiple points of entrances and exits, volume of adjacent DART bus stops and cost efficiency given its $6.5 million price tag.

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