The city of Middletown has found a buyer for the former Tytus Avenue Firehouse. A local couple are planning to rehab the former station into office space. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF
Photo: NICK GRAHAM/STAFF
Photo: NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

Local couple buys former Middletown fire station. Here’s what they plan to do with the building.

Mark and Jennifer Minor of Middletown recently submitted a development proposal to purchase the former fire station for $38,000 and are planning to invest another $50,000 in renovations to convert it into an office that will employ five people at first and expand to 10 employees, according to a staff report prepared by Alexis Fitzsimmons, assistant economic development director.

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Following renovations, the Minors said they plan to lease the property to Cornerstone Prosthetics and Orthotics, doing business as ProClaims, according to Fitzsimmons’ staff report.

Middletown City Council will consider an emergency resolution to approve the sale at its Aug. 21 meeting. City officials are requesting the emergency measure as the buyer would like to start the renovations as soon as possible

The Tytus Avenue Fire Station sits on three lots totaling 0.8381 acres, and has 3,413 square feet of space with 1,408 square feet of blacktop. It was decommissioned in 2014 due to budget cuts and a reduction of firefighters at the time, according to city officials.

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This was the third time the firehouse was offered for redevelopment through the RFP process since October 2017. At that time, the minimum bid was $95,000.

Two RFPs went out previously for the former fire station. There were no bid proposals on either RFP, Fitzsimmons said.

“Three independent parties recently presented offers for the former fire station – we selected the proposal that presented the highest and best reuse of the property,” she said.

City officials dropped the minimum bid to $50,000 in March when it was offered again in February 2018.

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“We are pleased to see the property being renovated and revitalized for future business purposes,” said Jennifer Ekey, city economic development director. “The job component piece of the project was also important.”

The city has used the Request for Proposals process to sell off buildings that are not used or occupied and have been acquired in various ways. RFPs went out earlier this year for the Studio Theater on Central Avenue. However no proposals were submitted and the city proceeded with the demolition that was completed in the past few weeks.

“We are currently evaluating city owned properties and best way to manage them in terms of the demo and RFP processes,” Ekey said.

She also said there are no current plans to put another RFP out for the Montgomery Ward building on Main Street.

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