AYER — Developers have a plan to transform the town’s old fire station into two-bedroom apartments, adding to a number of changes in downtown Ayer.
Selectmen awarded development of the station to GS Holdings LLC of Littleton, which submitted a $60,000 bid for the building.
Noting the fire station’s historical and cultural significance, the proposal plans to keep the facade of the building the same while power-washing the bricks and replacing the roof.
The cupola will also be restored to original condition, according to the proposal submitted to selectmen during the bidding process. The inside will feature six to eight two-bedroom apartments, each 800 to 1,000 square feet. At least one will be listed as affordable.
Jeff Garibotto of GS Holdings said the large firehouse doors out front will be replaced with mahogany doors.
“We’ll have regular entrances, but we’ll keep the facade of the fire station with those doors,” he said.
The parking area, projected to fit 10 spaces, will also be resurfaced, according to the proposal.
Garibotto said eight to 10 would be a great number of apartments, but the company still needs to figure out exactly how many can fit in the building.
He said the area is definitely a good place for apartments, located in the downtown area that has new restaurants.
“The price is right, we got a good deal and I think it has some potential,” he said.
The inside is just an open warehouse space right now, he said, but from the walls in, everything is going to be brand new.
“We might leave a little exposed brick inside here and there, but that might be hard to do,” he said.
The plan is likely a rough sketch, as Garibotto said an engineer and architect will be going over the building for further details. Construction will probably start in six to eight months.
The request for proposals issued by selectmen in July of last year requires the developer to use the property “as is” and to preserve the building’s facade “to the maximum extent feasible.”
GS Holdings beat out another developer that offered about $43,000 for the building. Selectmen Gary Luca and Jannice Livingston both voted for the award. Selectman Christopher Hillman recused himself from the whole process because he had worked with one of the bidders.
The reuse of the fire station is the latest planned development in downtown Ayer, as the town awaits the new New England Flatbread and Ale Co. restaurant in the former J.P. O’Hanlon’s building and a Subway at the former site of Woo Ri’s market.
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