PITTSFIELD -- After turning down a lone bid for reuse of the former Morningside Firehouse on Tyler Street, the city again is seeking development proposals.
Purchasing Agent Colleen Hunter-Mullett said a new request for proposals is being advertised and purchase-and-reuse plans are due by Jan. 22.
Interested parties also will have two chances to ask officials questions about the 107-year-old former firehouse at 231 Tyler St., Hunter-Mullett said -- on Wednesday and Nov. 13. Both opportunities will begin at 10 a.m. and will include a tour of the building.
The vacant, two-story brick firehouse, which opened in 1906, was last used for that purpose in 1970. The fire department stored vehicles and equipment there for many years, but the structure was not maintained. Roof leaks, water damage and other problems led to its closure in 2008, when heat and utilities also were disconnected.
The city is seeking proposals to reuse the brick-walled structure and retain at least some of the historical features. Those include window and door details in the front.
Hunter-Mullett said one person put in a proposal during the first round, but the project financing was not in place at the time. The person may resubmit, she said, adding that the plan included a "green" market and office space for community organizations.
The Tyler Street site is zoned "business general." Proposals must fit the zoning or have special permit or zoning variance approvals, as required. The parcel also is in the Urban Center Housing and Tax Incentive Financing District and the Smart Growth Overlay District.
The old firehouse has a full basement and a total of about 8,000 square feet of floor space. The lot size is 16,400 square feet. A 10,000-gallon fuel oil tank and a 750-gallon gasoline tank were removed in 2008, and environmental reports connected to the process are on file.
The RFP process being followed is similar to one that in June resulted in the transfer of the city-owned Westside Neighborhood Resource Center building on Columbus Avenue to a nonprofit tenant, Central Berkshire Habitat for Humanity.
To reach Jim Therrien:
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