Fire Station No. 1 to become watering hole

The Port of Bremerton will no longer be the next owner of Fire Station No. 1.  - Courtesy of Bremerton Fire Department
The Port of Bremerton will no longer be the next owner of Fire Station No. 1.
— image credit: Courtesy of Bremerton Fire Department

The Bremerton City Council Wednesday voted 7-1 to sell the old Fire Station No. 1 to Elie Benaron of Lex Diamond Company after the Port of Bremerton pulled its offer from the table.

Benaron accepted the offer Thursday morning in an e-mail sent to city officials.

The Port pulled its offer Monday of $325,000 after a legal review of the sale revealed they could not, under state law purchase, then lease the building to another party with the intent to sell it to them at a later date.

Port officials planned to lease the property to the Fire Services Museum of the Northwest.

Benaron, the second of two bidders for the Art Deco style station, originally offered to pay $350,000 for the building. His plans include transforming the station into a brew pub and restaurant.

According to the City Council’s procedure, if the initial bid falls through, the Council will consider the next bidder on the list. Benaron had five days to accept the offer.

Museum representatives had asked for 30-days to come up with other finance options, but the Council chose to move forward with the second bid. The money from the sale is needed by the end of the year to pay for costs incurred by the new Fire Station No. 1

The Council, after some deliberation, accepted the original bid of $350,000 with Mike Shepherd opposing the sale.

He was concerned the public wasn’t given enough notice on the item and that neither party was at the meeting.

“The Council can move on to the next bid or go back to the drawing board if you wish,” explained Roger Lubovich, Bremerton city attorney. He added the city was not required to give notice concerning changes to the agenda.

“The next logical step would be to go with the next bidder,” said Daren Nygren, Council president.

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