Sebastiani wins bid on old firehouse

August Sebastiani, president of The Other Guys wine and spirits company, said Wednesday he is excitedly awaiting a signed contract for the sale of the old firehouse building at 32 Patten St., after his bid for the property was accepted by the city on June 23. The sale amount was $1.65 million.

The building has been on the auction block, figuratively or literally, since 2008.

Originally built as a combined police and fire station in 1948, after both departments outgrew their allotted quadrants at City Hall, the Patten Street building was pressed into service to house city operations after the bottom floor of City Hall caught fire on a hot August night in 1980.

In 1987, city staff returned to Patten Street while seismic retrofitting was done on City Hall under the dictates of state law, and in 2007, the police department moved back in temporarily while police offices on First Street West were undergoing a floor-to-roof renovation.

The building has about 9,700 square feet of usable space on a .42-acre lot. Zoned for mixed use, there are no restrictions on what happens on the site unless the existing building is razed. Were that to happen, requirements for affordable housing would kick in.

The city sold the property to its redevelopment agency, but ownership went into limbo when the state disbanded those agencies in 2011.

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