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Minneapolis plans to rent space to replace burned precinct

MINNEAPOLIS — The city of Minneapolis plans to spend $4.8 million to temporarily rent an office building and adapt it to replace the police precinct headquarters burned during unrest that followed the death of George Floyd.

A City Council committee on Thursday approved spending $3.6 million to sublease the building for three years and $1.2 million to renovate it. The building is about a half-mile from the 3rd Precinct headquarters that burned May 28 after officers were ordered to evacuate.

Officers and staff have been working remotely and at the Minneapolis Convention Center since then.

City Council member Cam Gordon said that renting temporary space will give city leaders time to figure out what to do with the old headquarters, Minnesota Public Radio News reported.

“One of the things I think this lease will give us is some space and some breathing room in terms of what we’ll do with the 3rd Precinct building itself, and that’s been a topic of great discussion,” Gordon said.

The lease agreement comes as city leaders continue to debate the future of the Minneapolis Police Department in the wake of protests that erupted into chaos following Floyd’s death. Floyd, a handcuffed Black man, died May 25 after a white Minneapolis police officer pressed his knee against Floyd’s neck for nearly eight minutes even as Floyd said he could not breathe.

The full City Council at an Aug. 28 meeting is expected to consider the agreement for the building that’s owned by Lothenbach Properties.