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It’s Déjà Vu All Over Again: Sheriff’s Palm Coast Precinct Will Return to Former Space On Old Kings Road

| May 22, 2019

The Sheriff's Palm Coast Precinct office is set to move back to its location at 17 Old Kings Road, in Suite D, where the For Rent sign is on the door. (c FlaglerLive)

The Sheriff’s Palm Coast Precinct office is set to move back to its location at 17 Old Kings Road, in Suite D, where the For Rent sign is on the door. (c FlaglerLive)

Keeping up with the Flagler County Sheriff’s, the county’s, the clerk of court’s and recently even Palm Coast’s efforts to address the sheriff’s space needs can be confusing: so many buildings, timelines, possibilities, dead ends, so many different sheriff’s operations in play: that’s a consequence of the agency’s fragmentation since it evacuated the operations center in Bunnell almost a year ago.


But one pressing issue appears to have been resolved. For the next two to three years, the sheriff will move the Palm Coast district office from City Marketplace back to where the precinct used to be before 2013, in the shopping strip at 17 Old Kings Road North. Sheriff Rick Staly and Chief Mark Strobridge worked out that arrangement independent of the county and to get out from the $10,000-a-month charge at City Marketplace.

The landlord at City Marketplace raised the lease cost once it went to a month-to-month arrangement after January, for two units, including the sheriff’s Police Athletic League office. The cost was untenable for the sheriff. The county had promised him a new space for the precinct at the old Wachovia Bank building on Old Kings Road. The county bought that building for $1 million last year. The plan was to have it ready for occupancy by January. As with two other buildings the county bought since 2013, that one, too, unraveled in a muddle of unforeseen problems and cost overruns, and occupancy would not have been possible until later this year.

The space at 17 Old Kings Road is 2,000 square feet, or 1,000 square feet less than the space at City Marketplace. But it’s $3,500 a month.

“We’re only going to be there for a short amount of time, a couple of years, we need to make this work,” Strobridge said. “It is turnkey, it is ready to work, we could walk in there, put some furniture in, and we could effectively work quickly.” Both the sheriff’s and the PAL office would move into the tight space.

The sheriff’s space issue at the county courthouse is a separate, unresolved matter. On Monday, the county commission unanimously approved a motion requiring County Administrator Jerry Cameron both to compel Clerk of Court Tom Bexley to yield more space to the sheriff at the courthouse, and to resolve the leasing of the Palm Coast precinct. The sheriff told the commission its involvement in the precinct leasing was moot.

“I have the legal authority to sign the lease myself and I can probably move that faster than the board can,” Staly told the commissioners. He said the lease at 17 Old Kings Road would save $78,000 a year based on the current rent at City Marketplace. “I can make that happen tomorrow,” he said.

The lease at Old Kings Road includes all costs but electricity, phone and Internet costs. Strobridge said the landlord did not mention common area maintenance charges (or CAM). The elase may be cancelled within 90 days. “So when the new district office is ready, we can cancel without any penalties for a period of three years.”

The county in April voted to build a $12 to $15 million Palm Coast district office for the sheriff on the grounds of the Flagler County Public Library along Palm Coast Parkway. Initially county officials talked of a two-year timeline. Now it’s typically “two to three years,” when they discuss it. Once that building is completed, the precinct office at 17 Old Kings will be redundant.

Last week Palm Coast offered the sheriff to have a look at several city properties, such as the Utility Department office on Utility Drive and Water Treatment Plant #2 on U.S. 1. City, county and sheriff’s officials visited the locations. The city was willing to move some employees to make a space work. Those options proved too complicated, though they illustrated a more cooperative relationship between city and county governments that may pay other dividends in the future.

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5 Responses for “It’s Déjà Vu All Over Again: Sheriff’s Palm Coast Precinct Will Return to Former Space On Old Kings Road”

  1. snapperhead says:

    “We’re only going to be there for a short amount of time, a couple of years, we need to make this work,” Strobridge said. “It is turnkey, it is ready to work, we could walk in there, put some furniture in, and we could effectively work quickly.” Both the sheriff’s and the PAL office would move into the tight space.

    Wouldn’t they only need to lease it until the location at the old bank is ready to occupy?

    Let me guess…the plan is to lease this space until the new SOC is built, finish fixing the old bank location then selling it at a substantial loss.

  2. Yowser says:

    So, $21 per square foot for a run-of-the-mill strip plaza space. Can’t find better than that? Yes you can. There is plenty of space in Palm Coast in the $12-$14/sqft range. The rent is supposed to be upwards of 40% more expensive than comparable space because, what, why, it’s the government? Shouldn’t it be less? Shouldn’t it be competitively priced? Isn’t that the law?

    No, this is another Flagler County/Palm Coast insider deal, where every decision made stinks of corruption.

    If this were private enterprise, the Wachovia building would be done by now and ready for occupancy. If this were private enterprise no effective decision maker would commit their bottom line to another, what will turn out to be, $100,000+ because they didn’t want to wait another few months.

    Why hasn’t the idea or prospect of using the newly refurbished $8,000,000 community center been considered for this purgatory period between moving out of City Marketplace and moving into Wachovia? I would present the argument of using that community center building as the PERMANENT sheriff’s operations center and build a new community center for half the price somewhere else.

  3. JT says:

    First things first…. Is FC Shared Services operations group managing space to any state government standard? is County Clerk (CC) operation compliant to those standards?

    Standards eliminate discretion and determine a finite space need not only for the CC but everyone else.

    If the CC is out of standard, FC should take the space. However, all FC organizations must comply with policy. Leading facilities practices suggest aggressive actions to reduce space/facilities costs (Contrary to historical building acquisition here)

    However, if the CC is compliant to standards, he is owed an adequate solution. Ideally, collaborative talks would ensue with Shared Services for agreement.

    Typically, new space needs are part of an annual planning cycle, managed as such. Unless FC manages to an approved standard, this rodeo will continue forever and beyond. My two cents.

    PS-how do neighboring counties handle this?

  4. Concerned Citizen says:

    Explain to me why again that the Sheriff is paying rent to private parties? Especially when there is so much County/City stuff floating around?

  5. Another Concerned Employee says:

    Does no one else see that the Sheriff can make decisions to get specific staff into an operation that is “turn key” but continues to harass the Clerk of Court to hinder his operation in order to give up space?

    The Sheriff is making a power play for some reason over the Clerk and playing politics to flex his power over the commissioners.

    If the Sheriff is able to rent his own space — without the support or input of the County — then he should be able to build his own landlord, procure his own buildings, and make the space problem he created his own problem and find his own solution.

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