The old Brunswick Central Fire Station at 21 Town Hall Place. The town is accepting bids to redevelop the property. Jason Claffey / The Times Record

A plan to redevelop Brunswick’s old fire station will soon be in the pipeline.

The town is accepting bids for the Central Fire Station redevelopment project through April 21. Officials will hold a site visit Monday, March 20, for interested developers. No bids were submitted as of Wednesday, according to Chrissy Adamowicz, Brunswick’s economic development project manager.

In December, the fire department moved into its new $13 million hub on Pleasant Street after operating out of the Central Fire Station at 21 Town Hall Place since 1919.

“The Town seeks proposals that demonstrate a creative business and/or mixed-use approach … outlining an achievable adaptive reuse development plan that is consistent with the vision for downtown Brunswick,” states the town’s request for proposals document.

Citizens submitted a host of ideas for the building’s reuse in a town survey that generated more than 600 responses. Ideas included turning it into a piano bar, day care, arcade, indoor farmers market, Olive Garden, parking garage, affordable housing, teen center and brew pub, among other responses. The top priorities for respondents were historic preservation, public and/or green space, and affordable housing. 35.6% of respondents said demolishing the building would be “unacceptable.”

The 9,732-square-foot structure is listed in “good condition,” though its mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems will likely need to be replaced, the town said. Jason Claffey / The Times Record

The building is three levels. The fire engine bays are on the main level, while the second story has offices and living space, and the basement has a kitchen and exercise room. The property is in the Maine Historic Resources Inventory and is eligible for the National Register of Historic Places.


Whatever developer takes on the project will have their work cut out for them. A report commissioned by the town in 2020 found the 9,732-square-foot structure “appears to be in good condition,” though it said the mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems will likely need to be replaced. There’s also asbestos and lead paint, according to the report. The building sits on just over an acre, and the town will subdivide it to retain 34 parking spaces for public parking.

Adamowicz said applications with an “expedited” construction schedule will score higher in the evaluation process.

She pointed to the town’s 2011 Downtown Master Plan, which found the fire station property is “poorly connected” to Maine Street “with no public draw” and needs improvements.

“The creation of an attractive pedestrian corridor into Town Hall Place, with streetscape improvements and gathering places, capitalizes on the social and business potential of this area,” the plan states.

Adamowicz said developers should take the reuse survey and master plan into account when formulating plans.

“Project consistency with the community vision is very important,” she said in an email. “Projects will score higher if they respond well to the Downtown Master Plan and community survey.”

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