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Old fire department building has new owner
By CHARLES MELTON
Kent Kaulfuss might not be Santa, but it appears that the private developer is the bearer of the latest piece of good news to the downtown Bremerton revitalization effort.
Kaulfuss recently purchased the old Bremerton Fire Department headquarters building on Pacific Avenue and is making plans to breathe new life into the building, which has been vacant since 2005.
Bremerton appears to be going through a great urban redevelopment, and we thought it was a unique building, Kaulfuss said on Monday morning.
While the final plans for the building have yet to be finalized, work is already being done on the interior of the administrative side of the building, he said.
Were doing some repainting and remodeling because were going to be using it for temporary office space, he said.
When it comes to the overall use of the building, Kaulfuss said currently there are two possibilities, but that doesnt necessarily rule out any others.
Someone might be able to run a yearround farmers market or a mini Pike Place, because of the big roll-up doors, he said.
There is also the potential for a bistro/microbrewery in the building as well, he said.
We are working with the city of Bremerton as well to see what would work in the building, he said.
In the interim, Kaulfuss said the buildings exterior will receive a fresh coat of paint, and once a permanent tenant is found for the building, its future wont be officially determined.
Although two years isnt exactly an eternity in terms of development time, Bremerton economic development director Gary Sexton said he is excited to see someone like Kaulfuss take ownership of the building.
This is good, because its a building that deserves a chance, Sexton said, noting that the building has unique design characteristics, which arent found in many places.
While the previous owners were unable to bring the building back to life, Sexton said he likes Kaulfuss chances.
Its very dependent upon someone who has the economic/financial background to see the future and who is going to be somewhat of risk-taker, Sexton said.
However, Kaulfuss wont be able to do it alone and he will need time to form a team that will find the right uses for the building, he said.
I have great confidence that Kent (Kaulfuss) will find that team, Sexton said.
Word of the potential for a yearround farmers market was well-received by the Bremerton Farmers Market organizers among others.
It sounds like an interesting idea. We think Bremerton would benefit from having a facility like this, BFM marketing manager Tiffany Royal said. It would provide fresh seasonal produce to the community yearround, benefiting both the customers and farmers. The market is always open to ideas.