City gets 5 bids for old firehouse but rejects them all

The city got five bids from people wanting to buy the old firehouse on Melba Street, but they rejected all of them during a meeting Monday night.

Marty McCarthy was one of the bidders, though he did not say what his offer was. He went to Monday’s Board of Aldermen’s meeting to describe the firefighter-themed restaurant he hoped to establish at the old Melba Street station.

McCarthy has a restaurant in the Black Rock section of Bridgeport, the Fire Engine Pizza Company, and he was hoping to expand to Milford.

Milford’s aldermen went into executive session at the end of Monday night’s Board of Aldermen’s meeting to discuss the five bids that came in for the old firehouse and the property on which it sits. When they came out of executive session, they directed the city attorney to negotiate with all five bid submitters regarding the price and proposed use of the building and to present that new information at the February Board of Aldermen’s meeting.

The city has been trying to sell the old firehouse since last year.

The first attempt was an auction in May, but no one showed up to bid.

A couple of people who toured the old Station 6 Firehouse in May said they thought the starting bid of $477,000 was a bit high and it kept them from entertaining any serious thoughts about bidding.

In October the Board of Aldermen approved a plan to try selling the building again, this time with no minimum bid requirement.

City officials even extended the deadline for offers because as the deadline approached they started getting calls from people interested in buying the firehouse.

McCarthy was the only bidder who spoke at Monday’s meeting, prior to the aldermen reviewing the offers. He admitted his offer was low, but said he would have to put in a half million dollars to renovate the space into a restaurant.

Because his business is firefighter themed and because he has two fire trucks that he uses as mobile restaurants, one of the firehouse bays would be used to park a fire truck.

The Melba Street firehouse was decommissioned after the opening of the new East Side Fire  Station, and that’s why the city decided to sell it.