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Council hopes buyer will preserve building’s heritage
The City of St. John’s on Monday issued a request for proposals (RFP) for the sale and development of the former West End Fire Hall on LeMarchant Road.
During the regular city council meeting, Coun. Maggie Burton called it a “long-awaited” RFP. The building has been vacant for about five years, ever since a new station for the area was built on Blackmarsh Road.
Burton said the 1200-square-foot building was constructed in 1942, and will require a lot of renovation work. She said it would need mechanical, electrical, structural and architectural work.
A fire in the kitchen of the building earlier this month caused significant fire and smoke damage to the upstairs, according to a report by Telegram reporter Keith Gosse, who took photos of the scene on Oct. 5.
In a news release on Monday, Burton said city council would like to see the building preserved, while encouraging a new development and use for the vacant property.
“By using an RFP process to divest of the property, we will hopefully attract a variety of proposals, giving the city detailed information to thoroughly evaluate and ultimately convey the property to a proponent whose plans for the site are the best fit for both the neighbourhood and the city,” she said in the release.
Burton said she would like to see something similar happen with this building as what the Bannerman Brewery owners did with the former East End Fire Hall on Duckworth Street in terms of preserving the building’s heritage while offering something the neighbourhood will enjoy.
The RFP is available online at bids.stjohns.ca. It outlines criteria on which proposals will be evaluated by city staff, with recommendations then made to city council. Council will have the ultimate discretion as to which proposal is selected.
The proposals will be evaluated based on the quality and completeness of the submission; a development plan that includes the availability of financing, a site plan and conditions/restrictions on purchase; as well as the purchase price offered.
Points will be awarded for any proposal that intends to apply for a heritage designation of the building.
The deadline for proposals is Nov. 12.