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

The Brunswick Town Council will soon decide whether to back a $3 million redevelopment plan for the Central Fire Station downtown.

Portland-based Developers Collaborative was the only company to submit a bid to buy the 1919 building, which the town is trying to sell after its fire department last year moved into its new headquarters on Pleasant Street. The latest proposal calls for Developers Collaborative to buy the building for $200,000 and turn it into a mixed-use space, with Moderation Brewing moving into the first floor, five affordably priced apartments on the second floor and a community kitchen in the basement that could produce food for Moderation or be rented out by the public.

The council reviewed the project for the first time Monday night and is expected to vote on it Oct. 2.

“I like the way we’re headed,” Councilor David Watson said.

Council Chairperson James Mason said he liked that the building would be renovated instead of torn down. Developers Collaborative is planning to try and get the building listed on the National Register of Historic Places, making it eligible for federal tax credits and grants.

“This is a historic building that has had a huge role in this town,” Mason said. “I wanted to see that we kept this.”


Councilor Steve Walker opposes the project, saying $200,000 is too low a price and that turning the property into solely affordable housing would be more beneficial to the community.

Developers Collaborative plans to apply for a $200,000 grant through the Brunswick’s new affordable housing fund, which the council established last month. Walker said the council would essentially be giving the property away to get it on the tax rolls if it approves the sale and grant.

The Central Fire Station at Town Hall Place in Brunswick. Jason Claffey / The Times Record

Walker, a member of the Central Fire Station Redevelopment Advisory Committee that solicited bids for the station’s redevelopment, said he requested the property be appraised “so we actually know the value of the public asset we’re dealing with,” but that hasn’t been done. The property was assessed at $684,500 this year, according to town records.

“We recognize that it’s a low purchase price,” said Chrissy Adamowicz, the town’s economic development project manager who served on the redevelopment committee. “We’re getting this development that really matches the vision. You can’t put a price on the vision the committee developed.”

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. Some of the ideas included turning it into a day care, Olive Garden, parking garage, affordable housing and brew pub, among other responses.

Developers Collaborative’s plan calls for preserving the brick building and its three garage bays out front. The apartments would be made affordable to those earning up to 80% of the region’s median income and there would be a green space open to the public with planted trees, picnic tables and event space.


“These are important projects to take on,” said Mike Lyne, director of commercial real estate for Developers Collaborative. “They’re not easy to develop. … This building needs a lot of money and a lot of love.”

The building has asbestos and lead paint, and its mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems likely need to be replaced, according to a report the town commissioned in 2020.

State Sen. Mattie Daughtry, who co-owns Moderation Brewing, said the project would create an important gathering space for people in the heart of downtown.

“It’s more than just Moderation,” she said. “It’s more than Developers Collaborative. It’s about creating that place for Brunswick.”

Moderation would rent the fire station space from Developers Collaborative and fellow Brunswick brewery Black Pug Brewing would move into its Maine Street space, which Moderation owns. Daughtry said the move would allow her brewery to triple production and increase full-time staff from four to 12-15.

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