The Brunswick Town Council is currently considering a $3 million redevelopment plan for the town’s old Central Fire Station. The 1919 building became available for sale after the fire department relocated to a new headquarters last year. Portland-based company Developers Collaborative is the sole bidder for the purchase of the building and has proposed to transform it into a mixed-use space.
Under the proposed plan, Developers Collaborative would purchase the building for $200,000 and carry out renovations. The first floor would be occupied by Moderation Brewing, while the second floor would feature five affordably priced apartments. In addition, the basement would house a community kitchen that could be rented out or used to produce food for Moderation Brewing.
The town council reviewed the project for the first time on Monday and is expected to vote on it on October 2nd. Council members showed support for the plan, particularly highlighting the importance of preserving the historic building. Developers Collaborative intends to have the building listed on the National Register of Historic Places, which would make it eligible for federal tax credits and grants.
However, Councilor Steve Walker voiced opposition to the project, arguing that the $200,000 purchase price is too low. He believes that focusing solely on affordable housing would be more beneficial for the community. Developers Collaborative plans to apply for a $200,000 grant through Brunswick’s affordable housing fund to offset the purchase price.
The Central Fire Station Redevelopment Advisory Committee conducted a survey earlier this year, revealing that citizens’ top desires for the property were historic preservation, affordable housing, and public green space. Developers Collaborative’s plan aligns with these interests, as it aims to preserve the brick building and create a green space open to the public.
The building requires extensive renovations due to the presence of asbestos, lead paint, and outdated mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems. Despite the challenges, the project has garnered support from State Sen. Mattie Daughtry, who co-owns Moderation Brewing. She believes that the redevelopment will create a vibrant gathering space in downtown Brunswick.
– The Times Record