AUBURN — Councilors will give Joe Casalinova of Building Solutions Inc. more time to plot his proposed renovations to the city's old police station at One Minot Avenue.
Councilors voted this past spring to give Casalinova until Friday to come up with a plan for the building, but he said Monday he's close to working a deal with neighbors and some businesses for the area.
"Some times, it takes six months just to make introductions and to meet people," he said.
Councilors agreed Monday, giving Casalinova and his company until Dec. 23 to come back with a longer term option.
So far, Casalinova has paid the city $10,000 for his option. He's willing to pay another $5,000 to extend his option for 12 months, giving him until November 2013 to come up with a fair price for the property and a development site plan.
"I think you need at least a year to come up with something really good," he said.
Casalinova said he imagines the area will be a new gateway for visitors, linking the Washington Street corridor and Auburn's Maine Turnpike interchange with the Twin Cities' downtowns.
His plans call for multiple stories on the site with retail space for a financial institution, possibly a bank or a credit union, on the first floor. Upper floors would be office space.
Casalinova said he'd like to relocate his company's headquarter to the building eventually. Company headquarters are currently at 248 King St. in Oxford.
City councilors first extended the purchase option for the old police station for Casalinova and his company, Building Solutions LLC, in April, giving the developer time to take suggestions from neighbors and Auburn residents.