Construction for new police station in Royal Oak begins

Construction of Royal Oak's new police station begins this week. 

The new police station will be along 11 Mile between Second and Knowles Streets, adjacent to the Royal Oak Farmers Market. 

The new $19  million station is set to be completed in 2020 and is part of the bigger, ongoing construction project downtown which includes a new city hall building. Construction for that is already underway. 

Once the new police station is complete, the old one will be demolished to make way for a two-acre park. 

The current police station was built in 1964 and is outdated for the technology and equipment the department wants to use. 

"The state-of-the-art thing in the 1960s was maybe like, a telephone jack," smiles July Davids, a community engagement specialists with Royal Oak. "But people didn't have computers and all the technology we have today."

With the start of this police station project comes the loss of some prime parking downtown. About 140 parking spots outside of the farmers market will be closed for the project.Davids tells us when the police station is finished, about 83 of those spaces will come back.

A new parking structure is in the works though too, one block west. It will bring 581 new spots to the area in June. 

The farmers market will still be open during the construction. During construction shoppers can take advantage of free valet parking and shopping carts.