A rendering of a plan to redevelop Brunswick’s old Central Fire Station. Courtesy of Aceto Landscape Architects

The Brunswick Town Council on Monday will review plans to redevelop the old Central Fire Station into a mixed-use space that would include apartments and the new home of Moderation Brewing.

Portland-based Developers Collaborative submitted the only bid to redevelop the building at 21 Town Hall Place, which the town is trying to sell after the Fire Department last year moved into its new headquarters on Pleasant Street. The renovation is expected to cost more than $3 million and convert 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 could be rented out. The project would include a beer garden and solar panels. The apartments would be priced as affordable to those making up to 80% of the region’s median income and remain affordable for 30 years.

A majority of the Central Fire Station Redevelopment Advisory Committee, formed last year to gather bids for the station’s redevelopment, recommends the council approve the project next month. The financial terms of the potential deal have not been disclosed. The property, which sits on about 1.2 acres, is assessed at $523,600.

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

“The proposal meets the vision set out by the Advisory Committee, community survey, and the Downtown Master Plan for a mixed-use development that invites the public in and contributes to the vibrancy of downtown Brunswick,” Chrissy Adamowicz, the town’s economic development project manager, who serves on the committee, wrote in a memo the council. “The proposal brings this property onto the tax rolls with 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 was turned into solely affordable housing.

State Sen. Mattie Daughtry co-owns Moderation Brewing, which she opened in 2018 nearby on Maine Street. She said her business needs the bigger space, which would allow it to triple brewing production and increase its full-time staff from four to 12-15.

“We’ve been searching for a place where we can grow our business and invest in our hometown and downtown. It seemed like the perfect match,” she recently said.

She said if the project is approved, Moderation Brewing would lease its current location to fellow Brunswick brewery Black Pug Brewing, allowing that business to expand.

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