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February 12, 2024

Town of Spencer seeks developer to revitalize dilapidated firehouse

A blighted firehouse Image | Courtesy of Google Maps Built in 1883, the former Cherry Street Fire Station in Acton has fallen into a state of disrepair.

The Town of Spencer has released a request for proposal with the intent of revitalizing a property featuring a 141-year-old firehouse. 

The Town’s board of selectmen is seeking proposals for the sale, lease, or redevelopment of the former Cherry Street Fire Station located at 11 Cherry St., according to a RFP document posted to the Town’s website on Feb 1. 

Built in 1883, the building was used as a fire station until 1975. The facility served as a storage area for various Town departments after 1975 but has since fallen into a state of disrepair. The first floor of the building partially collapsed sometime before 2007, and the RFP document notes extensive work will need to be done to both the exterior and interior of the building in order to make it habitable. Existing issues include collapsed and broken stair cases, mold, water leaks, and a partially collapsed retaining wall.

The 3,616-square-foot former firehouse is located in the Town Center Mixed Use zone, allowing for a number of potential uses, including multi-family housing, offices, or retail use. 

The document states the Town will prioritize economic development and the elimination of blight, rather than the highest monetary bid. The Town describes the two goals of the project to be increasing economic business activity in the area and replacing the blighted structure with an attractive building having the best and highest use in the current market.

Bids will be evaluated based on the proposed purchase price or rent, project feasibility, and the developer’s experience with preserving the character of historic buildings. The sale or lease of the property will be subject to town meeting approval.

Bids can be submitted via the open bid portal on the Town of Spencer’s website. Bids are due on by 11 a.m. March 14.

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