Jul 212014
 
Depression-era firehouse in West Sacramento as it looked yesterday: unused and tagged with graffiti.  A developer working on a residential project across the street hopes to buy it and turn it into a restaurant and bar, with possible living space (News-Ledger photo)

Depression-era firehouse in West Sacramento as it looked yesterday: unused and tagged with graffiti. A developer working on a residential project across the street hopes to buy it and turn it into a restaurant and bar, with possible living space. Click to enlarge. (News-Ledger photo)

JULY 16, 2014 — FROM THE NEWS-LEDGER –

By Steve Marschke
News-Ledger Editor

  (EDITOR’S NOTE: Several hours after this article was published in July 16, the West Sacramento City Council voted to approve the deal described below for an “exclusive negotiating agreement” to pursue a new life for the Washington Firehouse).  Could a neglected, Depression-era firehouse on the West Sacramento riverfront find new use as a restaurant and a bar?

Has the time finally come for the rehabilitation of the old Washington Firehouse?

The city council tonight will consider entering a six-month period of exclusive negotiations with D&S Development, which hopes to make such a project happen. Bay Miry of D&S Development says the publicly-owned building could be made into a restaurant and bar with “possibly some work/live space.”

The project might be similar to what his company has achieved with rehabs of the  Brewster’s building at 201 4th Street in Galt (built in 1882 for the Odd Fellows), or the old “Sheepherder Inn” at 11275 Folsom Boulevard in Rancho Cordova (now the Fire Rock Inn).

The Washington Firehouse at 317 3rd Street features some rounded “streamline” features that show its 1938 pedigree. Like the Tower Bridge, it was a “New Deal” project financed by the federal government to help combat the Depression. It features a stamp bearing the initials “WPA,” for Works Progress Administration.

The firehouse is located just around the corner from the landing to the I Street Bridge, in a riverfront neighborhood that civic leaders would like to become vibrant and diverse once again.

The firehouse has been empty since 1997, despite several spurts of development interest. In 1999, an architect hired by the city estimated that it could cost as much as a million dollars to renovate it into “leasable condition” for retail, restaurant and office use.

D&S Development also owns the nearby Bridgeway Market and surrounding land, with plans to create a residential project simultaneous with a rehab to the Washington Firehouse.

D&S Development hopes to negotiate for some city assistance to the firehouse project “in the form of a market-rate loan for the property, deferral of city fees, and commitment to pursue grant fees for streetscape improvements along 3rd Street,” says a city staff report.

  Do you like what you see here?

  You can support local journalism, support this website, and see all the News-Ledger’s articles every week! Subscribe to the News-Ledger newspaper. It’s only $20 per year within West Sacramento – once a week, delivered to your mailbox.

  You can even try it for free for two months if you live in West Sacramento. Just send your name and mailing address to FreeTrial@news-ledger.com (offer open to new subscribers in West Sacramento ZIP codes 95691 & 95605).

Copyright News-Ledger 2014

 

Steve Marschke

Steve Marschke