The historic Central Fire Station in Brunswick is one step closer to redevelopment after the town approved a developer’s application for $300,000 in funding.

The Town Council voted unanimously to approve the Developers Collaborative’s pitch for the Community Development Block Grant — a program overseen by the Department of Housing and Urban Development. The collaborative, which plans to redevelop the former fire station at 21 Town Hall Place, is requesting the grant to add infrastructure to make the affordable housing portion of the project more accessible to people with disabilities.

The station, which was built in 1919, was used for over a century by the fire department until a new station opened on Pleasant Street in 2022. The town accepted a project proposal by the Developers Collaborative, a Portland-based company, in 2023 to revamp the building for commercial use, affordable housing and green space while preserving the history of the location.

“We had a long community process starting in 2022 about the redevelopment of this project,” Economic Development Project Manager Chrissy Adamowicz said at the hearing. “[The goal] that came out of that community process was to redevelop the historic fire station into a mixed-use hub of activity that brings the public in — so, making sure that this treasured building stays within the public’s accessibility.”

The Developers Collaborative currently plans to build five affordable housing units that target those making 80% or less of the area’s median income, though Adamowicz said the group hopes to fit more units into the plan.

The collaborative must submit its application for the grant, which would not require the town to match funding, by May 17 and aims to close its purchase and development contract with the town this summer, according to Adamowicz.

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