By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
For sale: Former firehouse
Earlier deal for former union hall lost city $375,000
Manteca is getting ready to sell the former fire station at 740 E. Center St. - photo by HIME ROMERO

Sometime in the coming months a real hot property could be coming on the market.

It has an expansive garage that can easily accommodate four cars plus has living quarters and office.

The asking price has yet to be set but rest assured it won’t be at fire sale prices.

The property in question at 740 W. Center St. served as a Manteca fire station up until a decade ago when the new Union Road headquarters station opened.

The Manteca City Council is meeting behind closed doors Tuesday to discuss whether they want to sell the property and, if so, what price they expect to receive.

It has housed the city’s building maintenance division for the past 10 years. But once the fourth and final phase is completed for the $11 million corporation yard revamp perhaps by late 2013 the building maintenance operations will be consolidated with other city functions.

City Manager Karen McLaughlin noted there have been several inquiries recently over whether the city is going to sell the fire station building any time soon.

While zoning the city assigns the site will eventually provide parameters for its uses, in other cities former fire stations have been turned into everything from trendy homes and restaurants to professional offices and even automotive repair shops while retaining the feel of a fire station.

Two months ago the city sold the former Carpenters Union Hall on Union Road north of Lathrop Road that was bought initially for conversion into a combined fire station and ambulance service substation.

Valley CAPS, a non-profit that provides services to mentally challenged adults, purchased it for $800,000. That compares to the $1,175,000 the city paid for it in November 2007. The local Carpenter’s Union originally wanted $1,650,000 for the former union hiring hall.

The city’s original plan was to remodel the structure as a fire station to save $1.1 million over the cost of building a new station. That was before the Del Webb at Woodbridge project came into play with Pulte Homes donating land that is valued at close to $1 million for the fire station that broke ground this week on Lathrop Road.

The $800,000 the city received from sale of the hall purchased with growth fees collected for the fire service will go toward offsetting the cost of the new $3.5 million fire station now being built.

City Manager Karen McLaughlin noted Manteca lost money on the deal. But waiting for the commercial market to rebound may have been counterproductive as the building was being vandalized as it sat vacant plus any increase in property value would be offset by increases in construction costs.

She noted that the property has now been returned to the property tax rolls generating an overall $8,000 a year in revenue for various agencies including the city.

Proceeds from the Center Street station should the council opt to sell it are not tied into the new fire station construction. McLaughlin noted general funds were used to construct the fire station that predates 1980.