The Minneapolis City Council on Tuesday gave the green light to a plan to purchase space at a downtown building to serve as a police station for the Third Precinct, whose headquarters was set afire and ransacked during riots that followed the 2020 murder of George Floyd.

The action Tuesday gives city staff the authority to purchase several floors of Century Plaza, located on the outskirts of downtown just outside the boundaries of the Third Precinct. The city could then have them developed in a way that can handle all the needs of the precinct — and perhaps future public safety services as the city's vision for policing evolves.

Moving the Third Precinct to Century Plaza will cost approximately $25 million — but that price tag also includes spending not solely related to that precinct.

There's still no plan for what will actually happen to the Third Precinct station that was torched — but still remains structurally sound — days after Floyd was murdered by a police officer who worked in that precinct.

The idea for Century Plaza emerged in July as a third option after a city-hired consultant reported that numerous residents weren't happy with the either/or choice of renovating the charred facility for around $12 million in a year and a half, or building a new station on a city-owned lot for as much as $32 million and in twice the time.

The idea has the support of Mayor Jacob Frey and, who credited City Council President Andrea Jenkins with coming up with the Century Plaza idea.

The city was already moving ahead with plans to purchase other parts of Century Plaza — controlled by Minneapolis developer Ned Abdul — to move officers from the First Precinct there, and locating the two precincts in the same building made sense, supporters said.

In July, the City Council endorsed the plan by a 12-0 vote that directed staff to come up with details, serving as a rebuke of the previous approach.

At the time, Jenkins and Frey described the Century Plaza idea as a "medium term" plan without committing to a long-term vision and said officers might be able to move in as soon as next summer.

On Tuesday, however, it became clear that the Century Plaza idea carries an indeterminate timeline. A tentative schedule presented to council members envisions police occupying the building in January 2025.

"The move to Century Plaza is not short-term," Barbara O'Brien, director of property services, said after her presentation to council members Tuesday.

Under a funding plan endorsed Tuesday, the entire cost of moving both precincts into the building at 1100 Fourth Av. S. will cost about $41 million, some $25 million more than when only the First Precinct was in the mix. But O'Brien cautioned that part of that cost increase includes a "shell area" that will remain unoccupied at first. That area, she said, could house mental health services or other non-traditional police efforts serving multiple precincts that are increasingly seen as crucial to humane and effective public safety.

The city hopes to eventually be reimbursed for up to $11 million from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which declared an emergency during the uprising that followed Floyd's murder.

Since January 2021, the Third Precinct has operated out of makeshift quarters downtown in the City of Lakes Building, which, by many accounts, is inadequate, offering cramped parking, only a single shower and no community space. The Century Plaza plan will solve all those problems, O'Brien said.

Note: This story has been updated to reflect that Police Chief Brian O'Hara has declined to take a position on any specific station location.