Monday, June 24, 2024

Cambridge’s old police station at 5 Western Ave. is to become offices for the Cambridge Housing Authority, it was revealed Monday at a City Council meeting. (Photo: Marc Levy)

The Cambridge Housing Authority and Community Learning Center will take over the city’s old police station, at 5 Western Ave. and stretching along Green Street in Central Square, according to conversation Monday between city councillors and city managers.

The information was part of a larger debate about the affordable-housing formula taking place during the council’s regular meeting, its first after a summer hiatus.

Police moved to 125 6th St., the Robert W. Healy Public Safety Facility, in 2008 after 75 years in the Central Square building.

“There was a lot of interest in that building” from private businesses, councillor Ken Reeves said. “Now we have decided to use it.”

The move means the Housing Authority — a governmental agency at 675 Massachusetts Ave. claiming on its website more than 160 employees and an annual budget of more than $60 million — and Learning Center, at 19 Brookline St., can stop paying rent on their offices. Terms of the deal have yet to be announced, city managers said Monday. Up to 22 months will be spent on preparing the space for the agencies, which will get a 50-year lease.

The savings will be “substantial,” councillor Tim Toomey said.

As a historic building, the exterior of the police station can’t be altered significantly.