AUBURN — Developer Building Solutions Inc. is looking at the old Police Station at 1 Minot Ave. as a new headquarters and possible office building.
The Auburn City Council signed an option agreement with Building Solutions Tuesday night giving the developer 60 days to investigate the site and determine if the plans are feasible. The developer can walk away at that point, taking back a $5,000 option earnest payment.
The developer can also decide to pay an additional $5,000 and extend the option agreement another 120 days or they can close the sale.
Joe Casalinova, president of Oxford-based Building Solutions, said his company needs that 60 days to study the site, looking at the structure of the old building and any environmental work that might need to be done.
“We have to look at all of the important pieces before we can even consider developing it,” Casalinova said. “It has 10,000 gallon fuel tanks in parking lot and we need to determine what would happen with those. They had a firing range in the basement, and if they didn’t have a good collection process there, I might have to do some lead reclamation work.”
The Auburn Police Department relocated to Auburn Hall in March, moving all of the operations to the city building on Court Street and leaving the former police station at 1 Minot Ave. vacant. Police still use the station’s parking lot tanks to refuel their vehicles.
The lot is 1.2 acres containing a two story building. The building’s first floor is 7,504 square feet, the basement is 5,560 square feet and an attached garage is 2,304 square feet.
Casalinova said he envisions multiple stories on the site. The first floor would be retail space for a financial institution, possibly a bank or a credit union, he said.
Upper floors would be office space, and Casalinova said he envisions up to four floors on the building with glass windows overlooking Auburn’s downtown.
“Our challenge is going to be to create a multi-story structure and change it so that it is a significant piece,” he said. “This is Auburn’s gateway. So this is going to set the stage for everything else that gets done down the road.”
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.
Auburn Economic Development Director Roland Miller said Building Solutions was the only company to answer an December advertisement looking for offers.
According to the agreement approved Tuesday, Casalinova can walk away from the property in April and take back his $5,000 earnest money deposit. The developer can extend the option through August by increasing the earnest money to $10,000 but the deposits become non-refundable at that point.
If the developer decides to purchase property, the city and Building Solutions would negotiate a price. The building’s value is currently assessed at $1.3 million.