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Hillsborough leaders review land swap proposal involving sheriff's office

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. — The Hillsborough County Board of Commissioners on Thursday discussed a land exchange plan, which proposes the exchange of five county-owned properties primarily used as a sheriff's office operations center from Hillsborough County to Ybor City.

The proposal would specifically have two purposes: First, it would provide the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office with an existing 140,000 square foot facility located on approximately 25 acres near Brandon.

It is about a 15-minute drive from the current location in Ybor City and about 10 minutes from the Falkenburg Road Jail.

In turn, the proposal would allow the redevelopment of HCSO's existing eight-block campus into a mixed-use development in Ybor.

“Just in terms of securing our future in terms of investing in public safety for the next two generations, this is a monumental opportunity,” Hillsborough County Commissioner Harry Cohen said.

“I think this seems like a big win for the relocation of the sheriff's office as well as the redevelopment opportunities available in Ybor, so I'm excited to see this moving forward,” Hillsborough County Commissioner Pat Kemp said.

Earlier this month, Sheriff Chad Chronister explained why it was a good deal for them, pointing out their aging building and that there was no room to expand.

County staff said this could resolve those issues and avoid the costs of building new facilities.

“Then, of course, I think this council, as well as many of us, have seen the cost of building new, so if there is an opportunity for a high-quality, previously built second-hand facility, where we can get maximum value for the taxpayer, that interests us,” said John Muller, director of facilities management and real estate services for Hillsborough County.

Under the proposed swap, the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office would move to Grow Financial's current headquarters off Delaney Lake Drive, which developer Darryl Shaw is under contract to acquire.

If approved, Hillsborough County will exchange the Ybor City land for the Grow Financial site.

“Any time there is an opportunity to collaborate for the benefit of the taxpayers, the sheriff's office and Ybor City, we will always be interested in those opportunities,” Shaw said. “We are fortunate to have forward-thinking public partners who are open to exploring possibilities that could result in long-term benefits for the community. »

Sheriff Chronister also said that if they eventually move and the land swap goes through, they will be able to grow, evolve and provide a more effective and efficient service to the community.

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