“It would be similar to the floor plans of the Marting's building,” Mike Mearan said. “But it would be a new building and a new police building.”
Mearan said the committee may give its recommendation to Portsmouth City Council on Dec. 11.
He said the price would be about $9 million, based on 60,000 square feet at $150 a square foot.
About two years ago, Dr. Herbert Singer, of California, donated the former Adelphia building to the city. He received tax benefits for making the donation.
“Now, we own the land, but we'd have to acquire some,” Mearan said. “I think the consensus of this city is that everyone wants a new building.”
Money to pay for the building would come from the debt retirement fund, which is based on property taxes. Mearan said the fund rate has been at 2.5 mills since 1950.
“So it would not involve any increases in debt retirement other than what we've had for the last 50 years,” he said.
Besides Mearan, the committee consists of Mayor Jim Kalb and businessmen Jim Robinson, Kevin Johnson and Terry Ockerman.
City Council President Howard Baughman appointed the members and asked them to help end the city building stalemate.
Mearan said another location the committee considered is the lot at Sixth and Washington streets that Sam's Kitchens sits on. Attorney George Davis owns the lot.
In May, voters rejected any future renovations of the former Marting's Department Store building on Chillicothe Street. But Kalb earlier this month said despite the vote, the building is still an option.
However, Mearan said the committee wants to market the building for retail and other uses.
The city bought the building from the Richard D. Marting Foundation for $1.9 million in 2002.
But a judge voided the sale over a Sunshine Law violation because City Council met in two groups of three with foundation members. The foundation then agreed to return the building and $1.4 million of the purchase price.
However, Kalb signed a contract with the foundation agreeing to forfeit the money if the city does not come up with a plan for a city building by 2008.
The city does not yet have a plan.
Mearan said city offices would remain in the current municipal building until a new building is ready. He said the city would then try to sell the Second Street property in order to develop it.
Mearan said the city has already talked with local developers and business people about the site. He would not name them, however.