Brunswick Council is reviewing a $3 million plan to convert the old fire station into a brewery and apartments

A rendering of a plan to redevelop the old Brunswick Central Fire Station. Courtesy of Asito Landscape Architects

Brunswick City Council on Monday will review plans to redevelop the old Central Fire Station into a mixed-use space that includes apartments and the new home for Moderation Brewing Company.

Portland-based Developers Collaborative has submitted the only bid to redevelop the building at 21 Town Hall Place, which the city is trying to sell after the Fire Department moved last year to its new headquarters on Pleasant Street. The renovation is expected to cost more than $3 million and turn the first floor of the 1919 building into Moderation Brewing’s new home, the second floor into five affordable apartments and the basement into a community kitchen that can be rented out. The project will include a beer garden and solar panels. The apartments will be priced affordable for those making up to 80% of the area’s median income, and will remain affordable for 30 years.

A majority of the Central Fire Station Redevelopment Advisory Committee, which was formed last year to gather bids to redevelop the station, is recommending council approve the project next month. The financial terms of the potential deal were not disclosed. The property, which sits on 1.2 acres, is valued at $523,600.

The commission conducted a survey earlier this year that found citizens’ greatest hopes for the property were for historic preservation, affordable housing, and public green space.

“The proposal aligns with the vision outlined by the Advisory Committee, Community Survey, and Downtown Master Plan for a mixed-use development that invites the public to enter and contribute to the vitality of downtown Brunswick,” Chrissy Adamowicz, the city’s economic development project director who serves on the committee, wrote in a memo to the council. “The proposal would tax-list this property through a mixed-use development of commercial space and affordable residential housing.”

Councilor Steve Walker, who also serves on the committee, opposes the project, saying the building would benefit the community more if it were converted into affordable housing only.

State Sen. Matty Daughtry co-owns Moderation Brewing Company, which she opened in 2018 near Main Street. She said her business needs more space, which will allow her to triple her brewing production and increase her full-time staff from four to 12-15.

“We were looking for a place where we could grow our business and invest in our city and downtown. It seemed like the perfect match,” she said recently.

If the project is approved, Moderation Brewing will lease its current location to fellow Brunswick-based brewery Black Pug Brewing, allowing that business to expand, she said.

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