The building that once housed Firehouse 212, which closed in 2004 despite loud community opposition, will be turned over to two local non-profit organizations that will turn the space into a community center, the city’s Economic Development Corporation announced last Friday.
The People’s Firehouse, Inc., which originated in the 1970s to protest the firehouse’s original closing in the 1970s, as well as Neighbors Allied for Good Growth, will move their headquarters’ into the building.
After a comprehensive renovation, its interior, the three-story, 6,000 square foot building, located at 134 Wythe Avenue, will feature a gallery space for use by local art organizations, as well as office and meeting spaces for other neighborhood non-profits.
Dubbed the Northside Town Hall Community and Cultural Center, the PFI and NAGG project was the winning Request for Proposal for the space.
The city will “sell” the space to the non-profits for a symbolic $1. However, both groups will be responsible for coming up with the estimated $1.3 million needed to renovate the space.
“The idea is to create a new, vibrant community center in the heart of the Northside,” said Peter Gillespie, executive director of Neighbors Allied for Good Growth.
“It will give us the opportunity to partner with local arts organizations to create exciting programs, exhibitions, meetings, and lectures. There will always be something going on there,” Gillespie said.
Originally, the city planned to sell the old firehouse to the highest bidder. But strenuous protests from a community already upset about the closure of the firehouse caused the city to reconsider.
In response, the city created a steering committee last February
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